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Don't Move a Mussel_Background

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[Background Music] - Clearly the West can’t wait in terms of educating the public to prevent the widespread of things like Zebra mussels and Quagga mussels and aquatic invasive species. Everything that you can do now will save you money and very significant staff time down the road. This is not an issue that is high on the radar screen of your average senator, or member of the house of representatives. But the fact is if you’re a fisherman or a boater it needs to be high on your personal radar. Aquatic invasive species such as Zebra mussels and Quagga mussels threatening the very existence of salmon. Just in the last five months since I’ve been at this location. We gone to finding one or two mussels in those filters defining thousands. [Don't Move a Mussel] Zebra and Quagga mussels are hardly the thing that people think about when they think about fishing or recreational boating. Unfortunately, these invasive species have infested the great lakes and much of the Eastern seaboard and they’re rapidly spreading West. Once they are infesting a river or water or lake system, we can’t do anything really subsidence to get them out of there permanently. That’s why it's so important to do everything we can before they arrive to prevent them from coming to begin with. Throughout the West, we have an opportunity now if we take action to prevent spread of these creatures. That’s why I’m sure when you see this video you wanna do everything you can like so many others. And like I want to do to keep these invasive species from destroying things that we care so much about. If you’re a fisherman, if you enjoy recreational boating in fact even if you just drink water or irrigate your farm you have to know how dangerous these creatures are and like I said I’m sure you’ll want to know and do everything you can to keep them from spreading. - You see there’s a large one right there. - And do everything you can to keep them from spreading. - You see there’s a large one right there. That’s kind of be probably a year and a half or 2-year old mussel right there. - Zebra and Quagga mussels are two closely related fresh water species in the genus Dreissena. Both are native to the region of Western Europe and Eastern Asia commonly known as Eurasia. Specifically, the Black Caspian and Aral Seas. In their native range these species have evolved in an ecosystem that included a complete set of biological controls. Among them predators, disease and other ecological factors that kept them in balance with their environment. In the late 1700s, Dreissenid mussels became established in Western Europe. When an elaborates system of interlink canals where constructed to improve fresh water transport of goods throughout Europe. Because this introduction occurred before the peak of industrialization and included controls species as well. The problems caused by these mussels in Europe where problematic but manageable. Sometime in the mid 1980s Zebra and probably Quagga mussels were transported to the North American great lakes, most likely in the ballast water of a cargo ship loading an European fresh water port. The first reported finding of Zebra and Quagga mussels in North America occurred in Lake Sinclair in 1988. During the next decade they dispersed rapidly with downstream currents to infect nearly every connected water way. But the late 1990s they were found in 23 states and two Canadian provinces all these of the 100th meridian. Since then they have continued to expand primarily by over land transport on trailered watercraft and equipment. But it was in until January of 2007 that they were found West of the 100th Meridian. When Quagga Mussels were discovered in Lake Mead and several other lower Colorado river impoundments. Following the pattern we observed in the East, mussels have been widely dispersed downstream to connected waterways. How far, and where they are allowed to move beyond the Colorado basin will be determined by what we do to stop their over land movement on trailer watercraft. In January of 2008, Zebra Mussels were found in Pueblo reservoir in Colorado and in San Justo reservoir in Central California. The first population of Zebra mussels recorded in the Western U.S. Over all Zebra and Quagga mussels are relatively small, shells range from a couple of millimeters to a maximum of about 5 cm in over all length. They can reach sexual maturity at about 2 cm. While they get their common name from alternating dark and light stripes in the outside of mo shells, the pattern and coloration varies widely and the stripes are not always present. Both Quagga and Zebra mussels are similar in appearance and shared the most important distinguishing characteristic, the presence of byssal threads that they used to attached to any object to their liking. No other fresh water mussel in North America has byssal threads. The difference in the appearance between the two mussels has mostly to do with their shape and orientation of the two-halves of the shell. The Zebra mussel has a pronounced D-shape, while the Quagga mussel has a more rounded and overlapping shell edge. The differences are not important. If you find any small attached mussels in fresh water it’s spell trouble and needs to be reported right away. Both of these species reached sexual maturity at about one year of age. Sooner in warmer climates a single female mussel is capable of producing up to one million eggs in a year with multiple spawnings. Fertilization is external and usually starts when water temperature’s reached 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilized eggs become free floating planktonic veligers and remain in that state being carried by water and wind currents for 2 to 5 weeks before settling. The mortality rate at this stage can be very high often approaching 98 to 100%. Once settled on suitable substrate juvenile mussels can often do move until they find better conditions before settling in semi-permanently. The average life-span of these mussels species is about 4 to 5 years. But it's highly variable depending on a wide variety of environmental factors. Including high water temperatures, low calcium levels and available food supply to name a few. These mussels sustain themselves by filtering food from the water column. An adult mussel is capable of filtering up to a liter of water a day, removing nutrients that were otherwise be used by native species. Since established populations have Dreissenid mussels can occur densities up to 100,000 or more individual per square meter, feeding and waste can and usually does have life altering effects on the ecosystem. Coming up, we will tell you about the devastating impacts these mussels' species could have on the economy, culture and environment. - There is a fight going on to combat an invasion in bay area waters. The culprit is threatening to cause real problems from bay area cities and wildlife. - It would be difficult to overstate the impact that Zebra and Quagga mussels can have on the ecology, economy and culturable region when they become established. Those impacts have already been felt in the Eastern US and Canada. Were more than $7 billion has been spent just managing the effects on water delivery systems in 23 States and two Canadian provinces over the past 23 years. Whether you’re a boater, fisherman, farmer, home maker, factory worker or retiree you will feel the effects of these mussels in the form of higher food, power and utility costs. Lost recreational opportunities or higher taxes and fees, if they become established in your water ways because managing the impact of these species is expensive. Maintaining a safe reliable and economical supply of water to meet the needs of the individuals and businesses, often relies on water being transported and delivered great distances. To maintain water delivery when mussels are present will require a near constant monitoring treatment and maintenance. And may require a very expensive new capital investment in the form of chlorination systems and or additional expanded delivery systems. All of those activities will come at a cost which is already being passed on to consumers in the form of higher water on utility bills. - Directly after our ozone process we add chlorine to the water and then that chlorine goes through out the entire plant goes through our flocculation, it goes through filtration and it goes all the way out into the distribution systems. So if we were to not have that oxidant present during those steps, then this flocculation base which you can see right here would be susceptible to settlement and Quagga mussel growth. With the potential of clogging lines and causing us all different -- all kinds of different problems. I would estimate that it would be somewhere around a million dollars in capital cost to put the infrastructure and the systems in placed for a long term solution. And then there will be a daily operation cost we’re looking at to approximately a thousand dollars a day just in chlorine purchase and to use for villager control. - We serve San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura and San Bernardino. A total of 80 million people have received water from us. For us the impacts are primarily in proactive measures is spending resources now to avoid longer term cost. We are basically, this first year is gonna be close to $10 million that we're spending in resources, chemicals and additional construction of facilities for support of chlorination facilities. We probably will be spending that same amount for the next several years just to be able to essentially defer having to do even greater expenditures down the road. - Large water storage and power-generating dams abound in the Western US. Not only do they supply the majority of the electrical power produced in the West, but playing important role in flood control, water storage and recreation. Dams and their working parts provide nearly ideal habitat conditions for Dreissenid mussels. Hard surfaces, flowing water, shade and the constant supply of food. While dams are very good for mussels, the reverse is surely not true. - We are aware and we're already making plans for how to address the problem if that should occur. This is in contrast to a couple of our facilities downstream. And one in particular that is already experiencing these two factors in combination. It's Parker Dam. It's the dam about a 150 miles downstream from Hoover Dam. That dam creates Lake Havasu between California, Arizona on the Colorado River. The types of equipment were these Quagga mussels can be a problem would be the smaller diameter cooling water pipes. Both facilities are very similar. It's very typical for all powerplants where we draw a certain amount of water from either the lake or the river through fairly small diameter pipes. For six-eight-inch pipes that cool the various mechanical parts of these turbine generator systems. And it's in those kinds of pipes were either the temperature or the flow rate seems to be just the right combination for the Quagga mussels. That water from the lake and the river where we saw that piping down to the building below us is actually forced up through these radiators to keep this generator cool. And this side glass tells us how the water's doing. So, if we had a real sever Quagga mussel problem, we might even see them right here in this little side glass. - Agriculture in the west relies heavily on water stored in reservoirs to irrigate crops during the dry, summer months. That water is transported in canal and pipe systems to supply irrigation to farm operations of all types and sizes. In many cases, water must be transported hundreds of miles to the point at which it is used to irrigate crops. At every point along the way, irrigation water is being diverted, pumped, lifted and carried through a series of structures that provide the ideal habitat for Zebra and Quagga mussels. Because of their ability to clog water conveyances of all types, Zebra and Quagga mussels threaten irrigated agriculture from the point of diversion to the sprinkler head, affecting producers and consumers alike. - One of the things that this primary concern to me is about 50% of our water is relifted. We use about a million-acre feet of water a year. So we're relifting about 500,000 acre feet in delivering that out to our, our water users. Each one of those pumping plants is a, a site that's very susceptible to the Zebra, and Quagga mussel problem. Any reduction in flow at any one of those pumping plants can have a critical impact on the district and the landowners. Our pumping plants are not overdesigned. They're designed primarily to meet peak demands in the peak of the season. And so, if we have a mussel problem in the peak of the season, we're not going to be able to make our full deliveries. - By doing some public education and some early detection and rapid response work in Idaho, we're hoping to prevent larger economic impacts to Idaho's farmers. - One of the most troubling ecological impacts of Zebra and Quagga mussels in the Eastern US has been their effect on native mussel populations. The smaller and more abundant Dreissenid mussels kill native mussels by attaching to their shell in large enough numbers to prevent them from being able to open for feeding and respiration. Zebra and Quagga mussels have caused dramatic declines in the numbers and diversity of many native mussel populations in the East. Some now considered threatened or endangered. - And this is what we don't want to see. This is a three-ridge mussel. It's a, what's it, a shell when we found it. It already died. But the Zebra mussels will encrust the native mussel quite readily and prevent it from being able to respire and eat and reproduce and open and close its shell naturally. So, they really can cause a great deal of impacts to our native mussels. On this Akora river we have 40 native species of mussels and we think we've had 40 species for 300 years. And Zebra mussels are certainly the first big threat to that population on the same [inaudible 15:08]. - The impact that Zebra and Quagga mussels have on the nutrient distribution and balance in a large, water body is incredibly complex and frightening. When Dreissenid mussels become firmly infringed in a system, they strip the plankton from the water, convert it to body in shell mass and excrete what they don't use to the lake bottom. While this action does have the effect of increasing water clarity, the removal of nutrients available for bait fish and juvenile game fish completely changes the ecosystem. This action is resulted in an 80% decrease in [inevitable 15:46] plankton in Lake Michigan in the last decade, resulting in a near collapse of the Whitefish fishery and a large decline in chinook salmon numbers, growth rate and size, as well as toxic algae blooms that have been responsible for killing tens of thousands of diving ducks. - What we're seeing then is the Zebra mussel population comes in, it eats the good algae which would be food for a lot of other organisms. It releases the nutrients which the blue-green algae can then pick up and grow. And because nobody's eating the blue-green algae, their numbers can increase dramatically. And, as the Zebra mussels are filtering up algae out of the water, it becomes much clearer. The light will penetrate further down to the bottom. So now, we can get the growth of algae that can attach to the rocks on the bottom. And what we are starting to see in some of the great lakes right now is a change in the cover of the algae community in the nearer shore areas. People on Lake Heron have been complaining for the last few years about this blown, slimy material that is coating the rocks along their beaches. And then when it dies, it washes in shore, decomposes and smells horrendously. So our poor, little zooplankton now are losing the good algae that would be floating on the water column and they're left with smiley stuff on the bottom that no one wants to utilize. Over the years, we learned it wasn't just calcium that restricts the mussels. They are able to live with lower calcium levels. If they have enough warm temperatures, it won't stress them out. And if they have an adequate food supply. - As noted earlier, when Zebra or Quagga mussels become established in a water body, it results in dramatic changes to the ecology by reducing the availability of nutrients that are the building blocks necessary to support recreationally and commercially important fish spieces. The bottomline, reduce numbers, growth rates and survival equals poor fishing. - We have filtration systems on our recirculation systems for razorback suckers and bonytail chubs. And those filters that we use are increasingly getting clogged with Quagga mussels. So that, that's causing more maintenance work. Just in the last five months since I've been at this location. We've gone to finding -- one or two mussels in those filters defining thousands. So, it's exponentially increasing. - We know that we have good years and bad years for our salmon stocks based on ocean conditions, based on amount of rainfall. And if we happen to have a time when we already had a stock that was being weakened for certain reasons. And our populations were lower than normal. And on top of that then, we layer on these effects of Zebra or Quagga mussels. It could be particulary devastating. - The orifice is the most fish pass through here. Most fish don't go over the werse. They go through an underwater orifice. Which some of them are 18 inches, some are 24. But these are large fish. Small orifices. As soon as you start taking space at an orifice in either direction, especially some that's going to be sharp. These fish are going to come through most likely injured. With Zebra mussels or Quagga mussels would be tough for us to deal with in that regard. - What we're expecting to see of if these invasive mussels got into our state in large amounts is that you would see a sort of bottom up effect. So there's less food available for the juvenile fish, the forage fish. - Recreational and commercial boat and marina operators will also feel the effects from a Zebra or Quagga mussel infestation. Mussel veligers are pulled into the cooling systems of marine engines, where they attach and grow, clogging the system, overheating and ruining the engines. Large die-offs of mussels frequently occur, creating windrows of sharp-edged shells that can cover the beach and lake bottoms and close areas to recreation. - They would get all into holes. This creates drag on the hole. It's going to increase fuel costs because of that drag. They're going to get on the outdrives, plug cooling intakes, which will overheat engines. There's one that came out the other day. A 44 [inaudible 19:53] came out. He came out [inaudible 19:56] loaded on the trailer. If he decided he like to take him to tour around the lake before loading on the trailer. He remembers [inaudible 20:03] overheated engines. His intakes would go over 95% plug. - Earlier in the year, we moved the Marina down here and the up lake end hadn't been, they hadn't really noticed Quagga and Zebra mussel in the upper in the Overton Arm. So the boats that we took up there all had to be pulled out decontaminated up in the parking lots before we move them up the late. On a constant basis, we're shuffling boats around and every time we pull one, we decontaminate it, spray it down for mussels. - They're going to present a problem to our visitors when they start showing up on the beaches. And they actually have started showing up on the beaches but they're in low numbers. But as the water level drops and we get into those areas where there's higher concentrations of them, then they're going to start showing up on the beaches. And that's going to be a problem. - In the great lakes, Dreissenid mussels cover almost all underwater surfaces at loading docks and piling, increasing erosion and threatening the structural integrity of many facilities. Locks, docks, boat lifts and navigation buoys are also favorite hangouts for Zebra and Quagga mussels, resulting in increased maintenance and replacement costs. -Mussels are usually start about five feet below the surface of the water. You start getting the mussel growth. And the reason why they start there is because we get heavy ice here in the harbor. So they tend not to survive in that upper five feet. Below five feet to the mudline which is usually about 30 feet below the surface of the water. So we add about a twenty-five-foot zone, usually get a hundred percent coverage of Zebra mussels over every surface. They will grow on wood, and they will grow on steel, rubber, glass. Pretty much anything that's in the harbor at the bottom, they'll grow. - It may cause degradation of the facilities at a greater rate. So there would be a greater capital input that would be required. We would have to completely redo facilities. Port facilities are already expensive enough and so, we don't want to have to expend any more money than we already have to. - The culture of the West is rich and diverse. It values and celebrates natural resources. Ingenuity, hard work and the great outdoors. It is closely tied the land and water resources and their sustainable use. Zebra and Quagga mussels are a threat to those resources and values. And for the Native American tribes of the West, water, wildlife and fishing are synonymous with life itself. - The tribes fish both commercially and for subsistence and ceremonial use. The salmon are a sense to the keystone of their being. Without the salmon, they would cease to exist as in people. With Quagga mussels or Zebra mussels invading and colonizing the system, both mainstream and nursery habitat could be affected. Passage for adults could be affected. By adhering to the physical structures of the fisher required to pass through at the dams, the dams could essentially become killing machines for these fish. Because of the sharp-edged shells lining the fishways where the adults would pass. And clogging and changing the flows for the bypass is [inaudible 23:09]. - The consequences of a Zebra or a Quagga mussel invasion are devastating and far-reaching, affecting every citizen in some way. All water users need to be concerned and work together with Federal State and local lawmakers to find ways to prevent the further spread of these invaders to protect the West economy, ecology and cultural resources. This is one of those rare cases where traditional competitors for limited water supplies in the West can join forces. Because there are no winners where Zebra or Quagga mussels are concerned. Only losers. The time for action is now. - Through a comprehensive program that features prevention through public education, watercraft inspection, monitoring and laws and enforcement, we've been able to prevent the spread and contain the spread of aquatic invasive species in the state of Minnesota. In 1989, Zebra mussels were found at our doorstep. But we only have inland lakes now with Zebra mussels. - There are thousands of boaters on a daily basis within a day's drive of all the recreation boaters in the West, from either Lake Mi, Lake Mohave, Lake Havasu are some of the currently infested places on the lower Colorado River. And if we're here within a day's drive at these areas, you need to be thinking about your prevention program now. - My hope is that sports fishermen, sports anglers, as a community, embrace this. And get involved with the legislators and with State government and let them know that they care enough, that they want them, you know, that they want something in place that's going to prevent this from coming into our region. - Aquatic invasive species, Zebra mussels in particular, can be controlled with the right kind of program that involves education, information, access management, inspections, letting the boating public, the stakeholders if you will, know how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Monitor is very critical. Monitoring is very critical. And you do these, all these things in concerts. And I think it's definitely worth the effort. - The Quagga mussel issue just doesn't stop with people that are affected directly at the lake, or with boaters, or with different individuals. It affects everyone. As our costs for treatment. As costs for different prevention methods come into play, rates may increase, things could happen associated with that. And so everybody needs to do their part and be understanding of what the potential impacts are of this Quagga mussel infestation. - The crisis is now at our doorstep and legislators, decision makers, State and Federal agencies are hearing from their constituents that, "Hey, what are we doing to stop this before it comes in to our waters?" They see it's right next door and we need to move. - You know, the fact is, to be perfectly honest, this is not an issue that is high on the radar screen of your average Senator or a Member of the House Representatives. But the fact is, if you're a fisherman or a boater, it needs to be high on your personal radar screen. And you need, then, to make this important to your representative. The way you do that is you write letters, make phone calls, or go to a Town meeting. Now that may seem most folks may not ever have done that. But I guarantee if you show up at a Town meeting and you say, "Congressman or Congresswoman, this is a real problem. It could cost our region hundreds of billions of dollars over a long period of time. It could ruin fishing, water supplies, agriculture. What are you personally, and what is the Congress doing to address this?" You'll have an impact. Follow- up that, because it really makes a difference. And if you don't raise it, it's not going to appear on the poll. There's not going to be a political action committee making contributions about it. And it certainly won't be in the campaign ad. But it may have a lot to do with whether you can fish in the future, whether your water rates double or triple, or whether your farms have adequate water to feed the crops. - For more information about this issue. To order a copy of this video, or to view complete interview footage of the resource and industry experts seen on this video, go to 100thMeridian.org. [Background Music Playing]

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Duration: 29 minutes and 19 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: maritimetraining on Apr 17, 2018

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