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zebra muscles

Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by pamungus, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. pamungus

    pamungus Elite Refuge Member

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    so i was in the dnr office getting new stickers for my boat and noticed a paper on zebra muscles. it stated they have been found in the upper bay and went on to say they were the end of the world. but after talking to someone i find really knowledgeable and reading up on them i have to say im kinda glad to see them. from what i understand they might clog some pipes and valves but other then that its all good news for us.

    the water will never clean up its clarity like the great lakes did due to the nature of the bays flow , run off and building pratices in the watershed, its a new food source for divers and seaducks since the supply is suffering. and you can eat them if you so choose. i guess what i am asking is what am i missing why are they SO bad?
     
  2. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    You should of seen the water after Isabel, when they took off everywhere up here.

    Just means new jobs created cleaning them. They're far easier to get off a boat than barnicales.
     
  3. pamungus

    pamungus Elite Refuge Member

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    so what am i missing what id the "bad" to the ecosystem? i know they will cause increased costs to keep pipes and valves open, but thats about it
     
  4. Longtom

    Longtom Elite Refuge Member

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    Are you saying humans can eat them?? If so it would take a lot since they seldom get bigger than your fingernail. I think the harm is that they clear up the water to the point that underwater vegetation takes over large portions of the water body.
     
  5. pamungus

    pamungus Elite Refuge Member

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    they would be like the tiny clams..i wouldnt but i dont like clams oysters or muscles. the ducks seem to like to eat them, so bonus!

    that was a problem in the great lakes but in our bay where due to runoff and silt it might be a good thing and slow the covering of oyster bars enough to give them a chance to recover
     
  6. Longtom

    Longtom Elite Refuge Member

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    You should read these FAQs that this quote came from.....

    "What impact are they having on the ecosystem?
    One of the most well documented impacts is on our native mussels. Zebra mussels are anchoring themselves by the thousands to native mussels making it impossible for the native mussel to function. As many as 10,000 zebra mussels have attached to a single native mussel. Our natives have all but disappeared in Lake St. Clair and the western basin of Lake Erie. Zebra mussels also are filtering the Great Lakes at an amazing rate, making the lake very clear. Most people assume that this increased visibility in the water must mean the water is "cleaner". Not true. All they have done is filter out all the algae which normally would be food for native microscopic organisms."

    http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/Nonindigenous_Species/Zebra_mussel_FAQs/zebra_mussel_faqs.html
     
  7. pamungus

    pamungus Elite Refuge Member

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    thanks for the info that was a good read, but again im not seeing the problem, it would seem they would only help our bay as they couldnt surive in the salt water where our muscles and oysters grow, but would filter the silt before it got to them to cover the bars, we would again have a food source where we have none at this time for ducks, and while i cant find the information on what alge they eat or if they wont eat the "bad" kind we have dead areas do to algae blooms.

    they only issue would be cost to companys with water flow pipes like the dams and powerplants
     
  8. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    ...my question, if they can filter out the algae why are they not concerned about filtering the micro-organisms themselves.
     
  9. Crow Bait

    Crow Bait Elite Refuge Member

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    Most filtering organisms have a specific particle size that they eat. Anything smaller passes through their gills without being caught, and larger stuff doesn't fit (like microorganisms). This is one thing that makes oysters really effective - they can process a wide range of particle sizes into feces (what they eat), and pseudofeces (what they didn't eat, but packaged in a mucus pellet).

    The probelm with too many zebra muscles is that microorganisms eat the same thing they do - algae. If you filter out the algae, there could be less food for the microorganisms. If there are fewer microorganisms, there is less food for fish larvae, if there are less fish larvae, there are fewer fish, etc. It doesn't take long to have an impact all the way up the food web.

    I'm not sure that zebra mussles could really cut down on the algae in CBay, but they filtered so much out of the great lakes that it impacted fish populations. What good is clear water without any fish?
     
  10. duckbutler

    duckbutler Senior Refuge Member

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    The mussels after Isabel were black false mussles. They were terrific for filtering and had the Magothy for ex., as clear as anyone had ever seen. They have a problem reproducing in saltier water and turtles and crabs ate them up!
     

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