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Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

Wonderful discussion sailors. Travlin appears to be somewhat passionate about the subject, and I like - though don't necessarily agree on - all his points save for "eels". Yech.

I am of two minds about the mussels. As a diver, I love 'em and hate 'em. I have seen days in the St Lawrence River near Brockville ON or Alexandria Bay NY where the viz has been in excess of 100 feet. Gin clear water that incidentally in late August is so warm you can do 100+ foot dives in a thin wetsuit. The irony of course is though you can see 100 feet, everything you see including the shipwreck you paid charter fees to dive, is absolutely covered in the things. You kind of have to train yourself to filter the mussels out of your vision and imagine the scene free of them. They make the puzzle of reassembling a busted up shipwreck in your mind even tougher.

They are absolutely everywhere in the Great Lakes and River areas I have dived. I can't remember at what depth they begin to fade away, but I think they are mostly gone by 160-180 feet.

As has been said, they are nasty to step on, and hell on either wetsuit or drysuit diving gloves. They do clean the water and make it nice for swimming. It's not long ago that I would not have considered swimming in Lake Ontario, now on calm days as I leave my harbour, you could read the date on a quarter at 30 feet. They have upset the ecological balance, and terrifically alters fish populations for good and bad. In the end I think nature sorts herself out. I don't think I am in favour of introducing them on purpose, because that has never worked out with any such introduction, but I can understand the frustration when a formerly beautiful body of water becomes a huge dead zone.

As for the original question, I've never had a problem with the little monsters clogging up the boat plumbing. Perhaps it's because I use my boat far too often for that to happen?
Bashing about on Lake Ontario and Beyond
"Ariel" '79 Endeavour 32
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