Quagga and zebra mussel risk via veliger transfer by overland hauled boats

Author: Larry B. Dalton and Sariah Cottrell
Year: 2013
Digital Object Identifier:

Type: Journal Article
Topic: Prevention



Invasive quagga and zebra mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis and Dreissena polymorpha, respectively) pose a great threat to US waters. Recreational boats constitute a significant risk for spreading the organisms. Recreational boats circulate large amounts of raw water when in use, and if not drained and dried correctly can transport many mussel larvae, called veligers. Veligers experience very high mortality rates; however, the number of potentially transported veligers can be a serious risk to non-infested bodies of water, especially if multiple boats are involved. The risk of veliger transport was calculated for Lake Mead and Lake Michigan using boat capacities for water circulation and specific veliger density data. Results illustrate the importance of draining, drying, and/or decontaminating recreational boats after use.

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