CS17 Invasive Species
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
WimbushJ, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , Bolton Landing, NY, USA, wimbuj@rpi.edu
Frischer, M, E, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography , Savannah, GA, USA, frischer@skio.peachnet.edu
Vescio, P, A, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , Bolton Landing, NY, USA, vescip@rpi.edu
Nierzwicki-Bauer, S, A, Darrin Fresh Water Institute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , Bolton Landing, NY, USA, nierzs@rpi.edu
 
Eradication Strategy For Zebra Mussels In Lake George, New York: Informed By Bioassay Studies And Carried Out Through SCUBA Removal
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Monitoring programs in Lake George NY, since 1995, found veligers but no settled juveniles or adult zebra mussels. Due to these discoveries and the potential risk of introduction and colonization in the Lake, laboratory bioassays were initiated studying veliger and adult survival in Lake George water. It was determined that larval survival in Lake George water is primarily limited by low calcium concentration, while adult mussels can survive. Utilizing models, low colonization potential was predicted. In 1999 adult zebra mussels were discovered at one location at Lake George's south end where water chemistry conditions were calcium enriched, providing an environment conducive to survival and recruitment. To prevent the spread of mussels a SCUBA hand-removal program was established, reducing densities from 10.69 to 0.15 mussels per square meter. Study results suggest that predictive models based on water chemistry, supplemented with survival and growth bioassays, are reliable for predicting zebra mussel colonization risks. These studies, combined with results from removing zebra mussels from Lake George, indicate that it may be possible to eradicate new zebra mussel populations if discovered and managed early.