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GLIN==> Zebra Mussels found in more Michigan inland lakes

Posted on behalf of Barb Lehman <lehman@msue.msu.edu>


Contact: Carol Swinehart

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Volunteer reports show that the zebra mussel
is now living in 119 Michigan inland lakes; 19 lakes were added to the
total last year.
        The additional lakes are: Long in Alpena County; Six Mile in Antrim
County; Union in Branch County; Long and Windover in Clare County; Mud in
Eaton County; Morrison in Ionia County; Ackerson in Jackson County; Blue
and Lincoln in Kent County; Big, Cedar Island, Lower Straits, Middle
Straits, Oxbow, Walnut, Wolverine and Woodhull in Oakland County; and
McLaren in Oceana.
        The reports were compiled by the Michigan Sea Grant program, the
Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan Lake and
Stream Association (MLSA), which is now in charge of inland lake
monitoring for the zebra mussel.
        No suitable method is available for ridding inland lakes of zebra
mussels.  Unless boaters, anglers and other lake users take precaution
against inadvertently spreading zebra mussel spawn, they may spread the
creature to non-infested lakes via their recreation equipment.
        Mike Klepinger, Michigan State University Extension Sea Grant
associate, says zebra mussels and their offspring (veligers) attach
themselves to just about anything in the water.   That is why fishing
gear, bait containers, trailers, boats, skis, motors, paddles, etc., used
in one lake should be thoroughly washed or dried (boats for five days)
before being used in another lake.
        “Ideally, the wash water will be at least 104 degrees F, but even
taking everything to a car wash and giving it a good cleaning and
scraping will help,” Klepinger says.  “The surfaces to which the zebra
mussels have attached themselves will feel gritty, as though coated with
        Zebra mussels have a penchant for creating colonies, be it on the
legs of docks, on and inside waterlines that draft from the lake, or on
boat ramps, rocks, buoys, swimming rafts or sea walls, and they often
become a costly nuisance.
When zebra mussel colonies become numerous enough, Klepinger says
they will fundamentally change the composition of the lake.
“Because they filter water through their systems, the water becomes
clearer, and as it comes clearer, more sunlight reaches the bottom of the
lake.  That in turn stimulates weed growth and that can create additional
problems,” he says.
        Michigan has more than 10,000 lakes larger than 5 acres, making it
nearly impossible for one or two agencies to monitor them for zebra
mussel presence.  The enormity of the task can be somewhat reduced if
lake property owners, teachers, public officials and others will
volunteer to be trained zebra mussel detectives, such as those who have
made significant contributions to the lake surveys since volunteer
monitoring began in 1993.  This joint effort of the MDNR, the MLSA and
Michigan Sea Grant provides the training and equipment necessary for
citizen volunteers to sample lake water that will then be checked in a
laboratory for the presence of zebra mussel larvae.
        To volunteer or learn more about the citizen monitoring program,
contact MLSA representative Pearl Bonnell at 517-257-3583.  For more
information on the zebra mussel and the problems it creates, telephone
Klepinger at 517-353-5508.

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