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Mussels attached to a boat that was in Lake Mead
  • Introduced from eastern Europe and western Russia

Mussels on a propeller that had been sitting in Lake Mead_

Quagga & zebra mussels
(Dreissena bugensis & D. polymorpha)

They are the only freshwater mussels that can attach to hard surfaces.  Adults are 3 cm to 1 inch in size so smaller than out native mussels.  Juveniles are about the size of peppercorns.  They form dense clumps attached to hard surfaces.  They are shaped similar to a propeller blade.  Some have stripes but not all of them do. If you find a mussel in BC attached to a substrate like a dock or watercraft it is likely the invasive mussel and should be reported.  Please call 1-877-952-7277 to report zebra or quagga mussels.

Practicing Clean Drain Dry is essential to keeping quagga and zebra mussels out of BC.

If zebra and quagga mussels were to infest BC waters the impacts would be catastrophic.  They cause billions of dollars in damage by increasing the cost of maintenance for operating hydroelectric, industrial and agricultural facilities.  They impact tourism as the shells can injure swimmers and those walking along the shore.  They foul boat propellers and potentially harm drinking water.  They can clog pipes, water intake systems and municipal water supplies.  They change the entire system once they infest it.  Native fish and plants will be affected.  The potential for invasive plants and fish to thrive increases as the mussels change the food web.  The economic impact of these invasive mussels to hydro-power, agricultural irrigation, municipal water supplies and recreational boating has been estimated to be $43 million per year (Robinson et al. 2013).  

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