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Old 03-01-2020, 10:52 AM   #1
St.Regis
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Zebra Mussel Found at Rome Fish Hatchery

Zebra mussels have been found at the Rome Fish Hatchery. It sounds like a major pain and will definitely change stocking plans for parts of the Adirondacks this year.

https://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/20...unstocked.html
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Old 03-01-2020, 11:28 AM   #2
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Not Good at all.
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:07 AM   #3
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Lake Erie has millions of Zebra Mussels and it hasn't seemed to affect the fishing there or has it?
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
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Lake Erie has millions of Zebra Mussels and it hasn't seemed to affect the fishing there or has it?
They do much damage to pipes, native fauna and more.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:11 AM   #5
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They filter feed on the zooplankton that forms the bottom of the food chain, so they can radically impact the biota of waters they infest. Dreissenid (Zebra and Quagga) mussels have nearly eliminated the Diporea in Lake Ontario, and this is apparently having impacts on baitfish, Lake Trout, Whitefish up in the NE corner of the Lake, and other species. Yellow Perch in Lake Erie have started chowing on the mussels, not sure if that is good or bad. The mussels are an invasive species and it is against policy to knowingly introduce them to an uninfected waterbody. In a small and fragile environment like an Adirondack Brook Trout Pond, they could be catastrophic. Since (I believe) all the Pond stocked brookies originate in Rome, this means at least two years with NO FISH going into Ponds and water bodies that are not infected, the year class(es)n they have in there now which will have to go to infected waters, and another one after they get it cleaned and find an uninfected water source (if they can), and get another year class up to fingerling size. We should all say thank you to the careless boat owner(s) who did not clean and disinfect after that trip to Lake Ontario or another infected water body.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:18 AM   #6
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I should also add that they have high calcium needs for shell formation and maintenance, and I recall reading that that has been instrumental in preventing their establishment in places like the Fulton Chain where they should have come in years ago from all the motor boats and jet skis that get towed in there by less than careful individuals who normally reside in places like Rochester, so there may be SOME light at the end of the tunnel. Plan on being required to have an inspection stamp on your canoe or kayak to use it in a lot of ADK lakes henceforth, and we all know that with requirements generally come fees.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:33 PM   #7
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Since (I believe) all the Pond stocked brookies originate in Rome, this means at least two years with NO FISH going into Ponds and water bodies that are not infected, the year class(es)n they have in there now which will have to go to infected waters, and another one after they get it cleaned and find an uninfected water source (if they can), and get another year class up to fingerling size.
Actually it said that only some of the ponds there were contaminated (as apparently some are made from lake water while others get water from a spring), so there should be some without a problem, just not as many as usual.

But, the question is - do these mussels actually attach to the fish?

Even if they do, it should be easy enough to take the fish out of the contaminated water, check them to see that none are attached and then put them in clean water (they'd have to move them to something to transport anyway, it seems?). That way, the fish aren't contaminated and wouldn't be an issue when put into other waterways...
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:48 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=BillyGr;280515]
But, the question is - do these mussels actually attach to the fish?

/QUOTE]

Unfortunately, it's like the Shakespearean pound of flesh. Shylock can take his pound of flesh but not a single drop of blood.

So no, the fish don't harbor them but the larvae are damn near invisible so no water can get transferred while stocking them.
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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The Larvae (veligers) are invisible, can only be detected in a microscopic examination, and why conventional filtration will not get rid of them. Check out this weeks issue of NY Outdoor News for more discussion, this is going to have a major impact on multiple hatcheries and stocking plans.

In Lake Ontario, the zebra has been nearly replaced by the Quagga, larger, more robust, and capable of inhabiting much greater depths. I wonder if the reporter has just used the term Zebra as a generic term for all Dreissinids, or if this contamination came from a water body that only contains zebras, which might make sleuthing down the source a little easier.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:35 AM   #10
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nItuhuY1U04
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:45 PM   #11
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Lucky and others, thanks for the info. The zebra mussel is tiny. Have you ever seen one? Unfortunately it reproduces by the millions. A couple of years ago there was someone monitoring boats at the in ramp of Seventh Lake looking for signs of invasive spiecies I don't know if they still do this.
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:26 PM   #12
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My dad had a camp on Lake Ontario since the 1960's. The bottom bedrock there was mostly limestone, either smooth flat and/or broken in chunks. The water was always very much on the cloudy side at all times. snorkling was not a lot of fun. After the zebras moved in, the water became crystal clear and snorkling with great visibility became a lot more fun. When walking on the rocky bottom, the rocks were nearly 100% covered with the tiny shells that continuously crunched under foot. No way to safely walk bare footed.
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:52 PM   #13
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How true. In the St Lawrence River I used to catch nice sized pike but they stayed down in the weeds about 20 feet down because the water was so clear. You can see 30-40 feet down in some places now. SCUBA diving is popular in the St Lawrence. Lots of wrecks but nasty currents too.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:32 PM   #14
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Parts of the St Lawrence were clear in the early 1970's as I remember losing a prop off our boat and after getting another we went back and looked for it, found it, dove in and retrieved it. We were somewhere east of Keewaydin [probably spelled wrong] as that is where we were camped and launched from.

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Old 03-05-2020, 07:49 PM   #15
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Parts of the St Lawrence were clear in the early 1970's as I remember losing a prop off our boat and after getting another we went back and looked for it, found it, dove in and retrieve it. We were somewhere east of Keewaydin [probably spelled wrong] as that is where we were camped and launched from.
Loved that area including Keewadin State Park. The Native American Iroquoi and Mohawk Named it "Garden of the Great Spirit".
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:13 PM   #16
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Loved that area including Keewadin State Park. The Native American Iroquoi and Mohawk Named it "Garden of the Great Spirit".
Never knew that so, Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:26 AM   #17
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When the Dreissenids first showed up in Lake St Clair, scientists generated tables of when they were expected to show up in the lower Great Lakes. While doing my work as a technician for the local Health Department, I discovered them far earlier than predicted in the Genesee River and in a couple of local streams that received outflow from the Erie Canal. I piloted Dr. Edward Mills of the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackleton on Oneida Lake to collect samples on the Genesee River. Most of these we scraped off the Charlotte Pier within yards of the launch, and these were dime to nickel size. When Dr. Mills, who has since retired but is considered one of the foremost experts on invasives and especially Dreissenids, said that it seemed a shame to drive all the way from Shackleton to Rochester for 10 minutes of field work, I offered to show him some larger ones, and we motored up river to the Turning Basin, where there are in-water structures known as dolphins used to assist ships in turning and for tying off. These had much larger specimens, some as large as half dollars. These were eventually identified as a larger species, Quagga, which are now the dominant mussel. Dr. James Haynes of SUNY at Brockport investigated my other find, and he and his students collected mussels in many of the tributaries that received outflow from the canal, but only in the short distances downstream where the canal water remained concentrated. He postulated that the mussels needed the higher nutrient concentration found in the slow moving canal water to thrive, and so they were unable to colonize the faster stream water downstream of the discharge points. So, yes, I've seen them. I started wearing water shoes for swimming in Fourth Lake a long time ago, but that had more to do with the Labatt's Blue bottles that seem to grow out of the sand between Eagle Creek and Eagle Point every summer weekend than the mussels, who have pH and Calcium requirements that are not met by many Adirondack water bodies. And my Raddison, which had for the last few years only been in that most popular of Adirondack ponds (Nameless! LOL), was thoroughly checked by a technician at Seventh last summer.
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:19 PM   #18
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Lake Erie has millions of Zebra Mussels and it hasn't seemed to affect the fishing there or has it?
The zebra & quagga mussels were an important component in the complete collapse of the food chain in Lake Huron. There are historic low levels of forage fish in USGS trawl surveys on Lake Michigan see link:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/sport...ow/4827453002/

So yes, the effects of these filter feeders can have a massive impact on environments as large as the Great Lakes. Lake Ontario benefits from all the nutrients that are dumped into as it has greater population centers. While Chicago is on the shores of Lake Michigan, the flow of the Chicago River is diverted to the Mississippi River Basin.

On an anecdotal basis, I have seen a significant drop in the numbers of zebra mussels in the waters I fish over the last few years. My understanding is that deep water quagga mussels are still seriously impacting diporea in both Lakes Michigan and Huron. On the bright side mysis appear to be feeding on quagga mussel feces, offering a new food source on Lake Michigan.

Good luck in the Adirondacks
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:28 PM   #19
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not to digress to far - when looking at the modis sattelite images - what is the green plume eminating into lake ontario from rochester ( Genesee river)
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Old 04-11-2020, 01:22 PM   #20
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The plume is the sediment load, the Genesee starts below the PA line in the south, and there is a lot of mass wasting going on in some tributaries, and below the dam for about 15 miles, and it is highly erodible soils. The dam at Mt Morris stores water from the upper watershed while the lower watershed drains, protecting Rochester, when there are significant runoff events. After the lower watershed is returning to lower stage, the water level behind the dam is lowered as fast as possible to prepare for another possible event, as the dam is not designed to withstand overtopping. The associated high discharge in the river downstream has a higher erosive force.
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