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YZThump

Zebra Mussels

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YZThump

Anyone here boat in Zebra Mussel-infested waters? I've been reading up on the little buggers and they have now spread over every Great Lake and most inland lakes in Wisconsin and Michigan and well as the Mississippi River. Apparently, they can really do some damage when they get imbedded in the cooling passages of the engine, causing the motor to overheat. They also attach themselves to the hull (like barnacles) and drastically reduce performance and efficiency.

The reason I ask is that I'm taking my boat up to Michigan for 10 days in August and will be in a Zebra Mussle infested lake (Black Lake.) I'm thinking about installing a raw water strainer before the impeller.

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87Skier

A ski buddy of mine frequently takes his boat to Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana and that lake is loaded with Zebra mussels. He must not be worried about them causing any damage to his boat engine because he doesn't have a strainer and has boated there for many years. I don't know any thing about them but I am surprised they can stand the 160 degree heat of an engine's cooling system.

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SunriseH2OSkier

Our lake is loaded with them, but they are not a concern for your motor. They will attach themselves to stationary surfaces underwater such as rocks, dock supports, or boat lifts. They might attach themselves to the hull of a boat if it sits motionless in the water for weeks on end.

The bigger concern is actually transporting the little critters from lake to lake when you trailer your boat. Your boat will take on water in the bilge or in your motor that contains these animals in their smallest form. Then you tow your boat to another lake. When you start your engine or pump out your bilge, BOOM!, that lake now has zebra muscles.

There were a lot of stories about how bad these things were going to be. The reality has not proven out the horror stories. If anything, our lake is cleaner than it ever was, weeds are not growing out of control, fish are thriving. About the only problem is that if you step on a rock that has these puppies on it, there is a good chance you will cut your foot.

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mlange

EDIT - sorry, didn't see the Sunrise's post before I hit submit. But my take is the same.

Zebra Mussels really suck, but the problem of them attaching to your hull or blocking your water pump, etc... are greatly exagerated in my opinion.

Our lake didn't have any until about 7 or so years ago. Over the years they have gotten to the point that they are everywhere and you pretty much have to wear water shoes when you're walking in the water.

As far as them attaching to things... from what I've seen they'll attach themselves to just about anything hard: wood, rocks, metal. They'll form a ring around the dock posts just below the water line and cover many of the rocks on the lake floor.

However, I have never personally seen them attach to a boat before on our lake. My grandparents leave their pontoon boat in all year and they never touch it.

So you really have nothing to worry about by leaving your boat in for 10 days. I would, however, completely drain all the water out of your bilge and flush your engine before putting it back in the water at home. Not to protect your boat, but to avoid spreading them back to your home water.

Hope that helps.

Mike

Edited by mlange

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D-GOOSE

Glad I moved out of Mich :blush:

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YZThump

cool...thanks for calming my fears.

our lake is cleaner than it ever was, weeds are not growing out of control, fish are thriving.

yeah, the few articles I read all talked extensively about the horror of these things spreading out of control, killing other native mussels & other bivalves, clogging water intake pipes for municipal drinking water, cooling towers, etc. Then, at the very bottom, they give one sentence about how efficient the critters are at filtering and the clarity of the water is better than it has ever been before....

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Buwannabe

I'm also in Michigan and our lake is infested with them. We have never had a problem with the boats. What we do notice is that the lake is cleaner. The one bad thing is that the little buggers are sharp so you sometimes cut your feet. We now have the kids wear lake shoes when they are playing. You will not have a problem.

Hope you have a good time visiting.

Dave

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UWSkier

Our lake has avoided the infestation, but the vagrants (fishermen) will introduce them soon I'm sure. Last week, I found a strand of what I believed to be milfoil in our lake. :(

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superjet

Same experience here. There's a little bit of hassle with flushing your boat out so you don't transport them to uninfested water, but that's it.

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tgaugh
Last week, I found a strand of what I believed to be milfoil in our lake.  :(

You're done for...

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UWSkier

Our only saving grace is that our lake is clear, cold, and deep. It could've been something else, but it sure looked a lot like the nasty stuff. It was only about 4 inches long and floating at the surface...

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DizzyG

We've got them in Okauchee (SE Wisconsin between Madison and Milwaukee) and they mess tons of stuff up.

They took out our pump for watering the lawn and other things, the move into things without their shells. Then they seem to grow a shell and get heavy and just attach to whatever they hit when they land. If that's the inside wall of your hoses, that's where they stay.

They're also very very sharp, so walking in the lake without aqua socks or sandals isn't a good idea, of the 5 people who walked on the bottom this weekend 4 ended up with good gashes in their feet.

These things are NASTY

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onamission
I'm also in Michigan and our lake is infested with them.  We have never had a problem with the boats.  What we do notice is that the lake is cleaner.  The one bad thing is that the little buggers are sharp so you sometimes cut your feet.  We now have the kids wear lake shoes when they are playing.  You will not have a problem.

I'll second that. We keep an assortment of cheep water shoes and water proof band-aids on the boat.

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responselx03

In Quebec if you are moving your boat from one lake to another you need to have your boat and trailer soaked with a product that kills zebra mussels

is it the same in USA

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zberger

Sure hope these don't make it down to my local lake..

Its private.. so not as much of a deal..

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funkcity

And now, their cousins the Quagga mussels have arrived from the Great Lakes to the West Coast.

Probably from a boater

Lake Mead, Mojave, Havasu and the Parker Strip... The Colorado river chain.

They were found in January and they multiply so fast there is no stopping them.

They have not yet been found at Lake Powell.. but that is up-river so-to-speak.

California is stopping cars with boats coming from AZ and Nevada.

The small resevoirs they call lakes in California do not want this problem!

http://news.grandcanyon.com/quagga-mussels...ell-on-lookout/

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Woodski

When you remove your boat from zebra infested waters, leave it out of the water for a minimum of three days to kill the zebra mussels. Along with that clean the bilge for the same reason. I would suggest you flush the cooling system out or at least the exhaust system as they might get up in there. Those are the steps that your neighbors will appreciate so you don't move them via your boat.

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88Skier

I wonder if they eat Milfoil? Milfoil and illegally stocked fish are the big threat to Maine lakes. If you're driving down the road and have any weeds hanging off your trailer, you can get a ticket.

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LS-One

Are the any good in a tomato based pasta sauce ? Dontknow.gif

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VinRLX

Just like Zebra--tastes like chicken!

Edit: but shelling them is a beeatch.

Edited by VinRLX

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NorCaliBu

This is Jack's big chance to actually get some muscles... Crazy.gif ...oh wait, you said "mussels"...never mind.

Sorry Jack. :( No muscles for you. :lol:

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VinRLX

Looks to me like you've got some Emuscles going here. Mussel head. Crazy.gif

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electricjohn
In Quebec if you are moving your boat from one lake to another you need to have your boat and trailer soaked with a product that kills zebra mussels

is it the same in USA

I have seen signs at boat lanches in NY and NJ telling you it is illegal to launch your boat if you have not washed and flushed your boat from the prior use.

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Boatman

Michigan again. We have them too. They filtered the water and the lake became clearer than ever before. THEN, between the sunlight penetrating the clear water and the nutrients deposited by the mussels waste the weeds went hog wild. We have weeds like never before.THEN, the fishing became very good. Zebra Mussels will multiply very rapidly and after maxing out will drop to about a 20 percent level of the max.

I didn't use my row boat for a few weeks and the bottom had a solid layer of them . Water shoes are a must. Good Luck! Cry.gif

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