Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes
As has been noted, zebra mussels can filter huge amounts of water. However, this can (and has) resulted in dramatic changes in the lower Great Lakes. Some nutrient and sediment levels have dropped significantly which has resulted in profound alterations in Lake Erie, Ontario, and some portions of Lake Michigan and Huron. The increased water clarity has caused huge increases in macrophyte growth (shoreline owners call them weeds)in shallow areas along shorelines with consequent changes in the types of fish populations that are supported or damages by that type of growth. Walleye and perch populations are faltering in many areas due to lack of zooplankton which feed on algae consumed by zebra mussels. The carpeting of much of the lake bottoms by dead shells has eliminated suitable spawning areas in many areas of the lakes for fish that need that habitat. The altered lake bottoms have also caused native mussels and other lake species to disappear in many areas. Some fish species actually may be enhanced by the increased weed beds (bass).The cascade of impacts to the Great Lakes continues and is well documented. That's why many private lake associations and government agencies try to educate people to not spread them further.