Zebra Mussels Begin to Invade the Red River

guywhofishes

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Zebra Mussels Begin to Invade the Red River

Posted: Wed 3:22 PM, Jul 08, 2015









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Numerous zebra mussel veligers have been discovered at several locations along the Red River between North Dakota and Minnesota, according to North Dakota Game and Fish Department aquatic nuisance species coordinator Fred Ryckman.

In a survey conducted June 23-24 at six sites along the length of the river from Wahpeton to Pembina, Ryckman said a significant number of zebra mussel veligers were found at each location.
Veligers, the early life stage of mussels, are microscopic larvae that adult mussels release into the water. They float with the current and can attach in great numbers to hard surfaces such as rocks, boat docks and bridge pilings, and as adults can clog pipes such as those used for municipal or industrial water supply systems. They also feed on organisms that are primary food sources for newly hatched game fish.
This is the first time veligers were discovered at any location downstream from Wahpeton, and in quantities of more than only a couple of specimens. Surveillance efforts on the Red River in the past five years detected the presence of zebra mussel veligers in 2010, 2011 and 2014, all found at the same single site near Wahpeton, Ryckman said. In addition to the location at Wahpeton, veligers were also documented in the recent survey at Pembina, Drayton, Grand Forks, Fargo and Abercrombie.
“Although these results are not totally surprising considering the recent findings of large numbers of zebra mussel veligers in the Red River at the Canadian border, and in past years near Wahpeton in the Otter Tail River in Minnesota, the results are certainly surprising in that so many veligers were detected at each of the six sampled sites,” Ryckman said. “And it’s even more incredible considering that in similar sampling over the past several years we’ve only detected about a half dozen veligers in total.”
The only known population of zebra mussels within the Red River basin in the United States is an established population of adult zebra mussels in the Otter Tail River watershed in Minnesota, upstream of where the Otter Tail and Bois de Sioux join together to form the Red at Wahpeton-Breckenridge. Ryckman says that although the Otter Tail River was the likely source of previous veliger discoveries, the volume of veligers discovered this year along the entire length of the river has biologists questioning if there aren’t undiscovered colonies of adult zebra mussels elsewhere within the Red River watershed.
The key now is for people using the Red to be extra careful about transporting any water away from the river, Ryckman said. “There really isn’t anything we can do to remove the veligers or any adult zebra mussels from the river,” he added, “but we can be on alert and do everything we can to prevent them from being moved to other bodies of water.”
In addition to following the ANS rules and regulations when exiting the river, Ryckman urges people using the Red to look for and report any suspected adult zebra mussels that they may find. If mussels are found, citizens are asked to report findings immediately to a local Game and Fish Department district office.

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I am looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.
 


Enslow

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Is the NDGF going to try to stop the spread of this or sit on their thumbs and hope that rules and regs are followed ? The fish limits arent even followed...!
 

SDMF

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If it gets into Devils and things go gin clear we'll all be scrambling for downriggers, dipsy's, and the like as well as rigging up everything for night fishing.
 


eyexer

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hard to beat erie fishing with the mussels there. it's alot of over reaction
 

Traxion

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To me it's still a big deal. Certainly some fisheries have cleaned up a bit with mussels in them. But to say that will be the case for all of them would be far from the truth.

You want to get drastic? Look at the State of WY rules. Mandatory inspections of all watercraft coming into the state. Mandatory decontaminations for any watercraft that has been in infected waters(in state or out of state). Yes, this requires honest people. But, sportsmen need to recognize the significance of this problem and be part of the prevention efforts. Will we stop them all? Probably not. But, anything we can do to stop the spread is significant. The state funds a big part of it through general fund but boaters must buy an AIS sticker that the funds also go towards the program. My biggest issue was finding an open inspection station when I needed one if going into WY. They are open more often and will meet you ANYTIME if you setup an appointment. But, even still I attended the training to become and inspector and it was eye opening.

SD needs to step up to the plate as well. We have a few waters with mussels or at least veliger stage. I don't want to see them spread and will do my part.
 

BBQBluesMan

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hard to beat erie fishing with the mussels there. it's alot of over reaction

I have to disagree. You cannot really compare Lake Erie to any body of water in North Dakota. Zebra mussels can affect various types of "lakes" in different ways. FIshing in North Dakota has never been better. Zebra mussels are the last thing we need!

This is a good read I saw on WalleyeCentral awhile back....


http://www.walleyecentral.com/articles/?a=643
 

KDM

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I'm hoping that the red river has such a high sedimentation load, fluctuations in water depth, and water temp that those party crashers won't be able to get established. Now for DL or especially Sak, IDK. Exclusion is the best option right now. We definitely don't want these things here.
 

guywhofishes

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UPDATE: One of my favorite lakes. :eek:

[h=1]Zebra mussels confirmed in Big Cormorant Lake[/h] By Forum staff reports on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:06 p.m.

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DETROIT LAKES—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels have infested Big Cormorant Lake in Becker County.

Today's confirmation followed a three-day search by DNR staff and staff of the Becker County Soil and Water Conservation District. The Zebra mussels were adults about three-quarters of an inch in size.
"Although low in numbers, zebra mussels are present and distributed around Big Cormorant Lake, not localized in one area," said Mark Ranweiler, a DNR assistant invasive species specialist.
"Because zebra mussel discoveries were made in various locations in the lake, treatment does not appear to be an option."
The search came after a report July 15 from a property owner who saw suspected zebra mussels. DNR searchers found the shells of about 60 dead zebra mussels on a pontoon lift.
Investigators determined the lift had been removed from Crystal Lake in Otter Tail County last fall, and have been out of the water for at least eight months before being placed in Big Cormorant Lake.
The lift was determined not to be the source of the mussels, the DNR said in a statement, but the source of the invasive species could not be determined.
Still, the presence of dead zebra mussels on the pontoon lift is an important reminder to lakeshore property owners. Anyone who buys water-related equipment must carefully inspect it for all aquatic invasive species before putting it in any body of water.
 


johnr

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Would it be bad for the red river? not being a smart @ss, but cleaning it up some might be okay, or no?

Don't have the time to research all this stuff, but did fish the Red for many years 15 years back, and remember it being not particularly clean.

There is no stopping it. At least I don't think washing your boat down, and draining your livewell is going to prevent it, just like me not drinking and driving is not going to stop drunk driving accidents.
 

ElDuderino

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At this point there is no stopping in the DL area. Melissa has it which I believe is connected to Sallie which will soon get it. With all the traffic in and out of Big Cormorant it won't take long for it to spread to the surrounding lakes.

I read an article that the Red has had them for awhile but they were not spreading until this last check they were like WTF how did they get here so fast.

It sucks that more and more lakes are getting infected but at this point how do you stop it??
 

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