Zebra and Quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis)
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).
Clean - clean visible Aquatic Invasive Species or attached vegetation, dirt, debris or surface deposits including mussel shells or residue on the watercraft, trailer, outdrive or equipment that could mask the presence of attached mussels
Drained - To the extent practical, all water drained from any live-well, bait-well, storage compartment, bilge area, engine compartment, deck, ballast tank, water storage and delivery systems, cooler or other water storage area on the watercraft, trailer, engine or equipment
Dry - No visible sign of standing water, or in the case of equipment, wetness on or in the watercraft, trailer, engine or equipment
So far Zebra and Quagga mussels have not established in British Columbia. These small mussels attached to substrates such as boats and can be easily moved to new locations. Please contact the RAPP line immediately if you think you have found Zebra or Quagga mussels on a watercraft or in a water body.
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.