What Happened To The Zebra Mussels?

To The Reader’s Forum:

There was a time when the presence of Zebra Mussels were one of the indications of a lake in peril.

Lake Erie was a prime example, especially when their presence plugged up the intake pipes of coolant or potable water. There was a time when those little rascals invaded Chautauqua Lake.

I’m not certain what that meant but it did bother me when they showed up on the pipe “horses” on my lakeside dock. It was then that I also noticed that they permeated the aluminum dock supports at Long Point State Park and those at the Casino in Bemus. Fall trips to enjoy viewing the lake at those locations resulted in noticing those supports as they were stacked on shore after the docks were pulled. Zebra Mussels on top of Zebra Mussels covered the below waterline sections of those supports. It appeared that there were at least five layers of their shells on top of one another in some locations, particularly at the intersections, of the aluminum pipes used in support construction. That was about the 2009 and 2010 time frames. It was claimed that they “cleaned up” Lake Erie through their filtering ability as a resulted of their existing on the plankton that clouded the lake.

Such is not the case currently in Chautauqua Lake. I made a circuit of Long Point and the Casino yesterday to view the dock supports stacked for the winter at those locations. I’d wager I didn’t see a total of fifty Zebra Mussels where previously I’d seen untold millions. I can’t help but wonder what happened to them. What killed them off, and what effect does their demise have on the lake? The world wonders.

Kenneth J. “Pat” Corey

Bemus Point

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