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Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels

July 4 2024
Pigeon Lake monitors for two types of invasive mussels; Zebra and Quagga mussels. Both of these mussel species are considered invasive not only to our lake but to all of Canada. The Zebra mussels have a striped zigzag pattern on their shell generally varying in size and are a darker brown with the stripes being a white/yellow colour. The Quagga mussels are lighter in colour with dark stripes.  

 

These mussels can be problematic if they enter the lake because of how easily they spread and wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Mussels are filter feeders, which means that they get their nutrients by taking in water to filter what they need such as food and other particles. Anything that they don’t need is then filtered out. This causes an increase in the amount of nitrate and phosphate in the lake, and can result in a greater chance for the occurrence of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) blooms. Their filtering also removes the food and nutrients that other native species require altering the food web. They can attach to solid surfaces such as parts of your boat, paddles, trailers, gear, and more. This makes it easier for them to spread from one body of water to the next, which is why it's important to remember to Clean, Drain, Dry your equipment and to make sure to always stop at boat inspections.

 

To learn more about these invasive mussels, and how we can prevent them from entering our lake system, check out https://canadainvasives.ca/programs/clean-drain-dry/
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