Monday, November 19, 2007


A couple of days ago I published a post entitled “ZEBRA AND QUAGGA MUSSELS”. The post was based on my experience last July at the Yermo Agricultural Inspection Station. In the following weeks I learned a lot about invasive species, and while I’m not an expert on Zebra and Quagga Mussels, I knew I’d recognize them if I ever saw them. The post I put up the other day was the product of much reading and research, and it took me a while to finalize it. By coincidence, when the post was finally ready, my family and I took a quick four-day trip across the desert to Henderson. I ended up at my Lake Las Vegas operation and published the Zebra and Quagga post. As I worked on my gondolas, I talked with some folks who told me that people are worried about the mussels, I noticed traps in the middle of the lake and a sign in one of the marina offices warning about their spread. Most of all, I looked in the water. I saw the same growth I’d seen for years in the lake, but no mussels. I was relieved…until today. I thought I’d recognize the mussels when I saw them, but I didn’t look hard enough. It took sticking my head between the gondola and the dock, and practically putting my nose in the water before I noticed a little tiny mussel – alone in a crevice of the float that the dock sits on. I had been cleaning the side of the gondola and immediately reached down and pulled up an adult Quagga Mussel – as tiny as a fingernail. I looked further and found none. Several more docks showed no Quaggas. As ridiculous as it may sound, I hoped I’d found the only one - then I found a small colony. I easily pulled fourteen of them and put them in the palm of my hand.

Take a look at my new "pets!"

Now I’m thinking about how things will likely change on the lake.
They are officially here.
Lakes Mead and Mojave are well-ahead of us in the proliferation of Quaggas, so hopefully we can learn from their struggles.

A familiar sight in marinas throughout the West these days.

If you operate on a fresh-water lake or river, learn all you can about these invasive species, and take action to prevent them from spreading to your waterway.

In my previous post, I said: “One thing is certain: once they take hold of an area, things are not the same again.”
I guess now we’ll have a firsthand opportunity to see if I was right.

And there they are - 14 of those lttle buggers fit loosely in the palm of my hand.

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