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

Owasco Lake, my lake, has had zebra mussels for a decade or so now. I don't notice them on my boat, which is a Hunter 260 moored in front of my house, except on the depth transducer and speed indicator wheel. Its a simple matter a quick dive in the drink to clean them off. Never noticed them on the ablative, it seems to work quite well for zebra mussels.

Brad
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

Someone should set up an industry to turn them into fertilizer. Then we could eliminate chemical fertilizers which have reated a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. It would also give kids spending money gathering them.
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

Walking on Zebra mussels would be a pleasure when compared to walking on the black, slimy, bottom of most of the upper Chesapeake's tributaries. Take a nice hike on the bottom of Back River just east of the Eastern Avenue Bridge. Yeah, you know the place, Cox Point State Park, where no one has been able to swim for more than 75 years because of the pollution. If the Zebra Mussels took up residence there they probably would suffocate. Gotta feel sorry for the little critters.

When Zebra Mussels first invaded the great lakes all the marine biologists screamed this invasive species would destroy the lake's ecology. Amazing! When I was 17 years old and in boot camp at Great Lakes, IL you could stand in Lake Michigan in ankle deep water and not see your toes. Today, you can toss a quarter overboard and watch it sink to the bottom in 25 feet of water.

The yellow perch in Lake Erie at the same time were so contaminated that they were considered unsafe to eat. Not so today. Gee, I wonder if the Zebras cleaned up the lake to the point where the fish were now safe to consume? That would be my guess.

Zebras are incredible filter feeders, and because of their sheer numbers they scrub huge volumes of water every minute of every day. They seem to be far more efficient at this than clams and oysters, and because nothing other than diving ducks seems to want to eat them, from my point of view they don't seem to pose any environmental threat at all.

From some of the research I did on them three decades ago, the problems of them clogging intake pipes for municipal water supplies was quickly solved by passing a low voltage across the pipe surface, which kept the vellagers off the pipes, something like a cattle fence. And, the tiny amount of chlorine used to purify drinking water apparently kills any escapees that make into the system.

Bottom line: Despite the billions upon billions of dollars spent on the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program, the bay is filthy. I'll take the Zebras over the political hacks and naysayers at Maryland DNR, put my tax money back in my pocket where I can spend it as I see fit, mainly on sailing. Hell, if the water was nice and clean, I probably would still have a great fishing boat and be out on the bay catching striped bass, perch, bluefish and eating them regularly.

Like I said "C'mon Zebras!"

Gary
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

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Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
......Despite the billions upon billions of dollars spent on the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program, the bay is filthy. I'll take the Zebras over the political hacks and naysayers at Maryland DNR...
Amen to that.

I also agree that the ecological impact of the zebra muscles was overblown. However, one can't dismiss the downside that these critters ruin lake side access. A friend has a summer lake house on one of the Finger Lakes. I wouldn't call the waterfront a beach, more like grass up to the water's edge with a rocky bottom that you wade out until it drops off dramatically. The kids would bring floaty toys out and play in the deeper water. They can't get out there now, without shoes on. Zebra shells will tear your feet to shreds like little razors.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

There is no doubt that the zebra mussels have cleaned up the water in upstate NY. Oneida Lake used to be muddy looking and one of the best walleye fisheries in the US. Now it is much cleaner and the walleye population has plummeted.
For those that don't know; zebra mussels are very small, the largest being about the size of a dime. They literally cover the shallows up to a depth of a inch or so. It all depends on the bottom structure.
Given the depth of the finger lakes, up to 618 feet, i doubt the zebra mussels have much affect(at least the deeper ones). For those that have never seen the finger lakes, you don't know what you are missing.
I agree, we should drop a couple of buckets of these babies in Maryland. Save the tax payers a lot of money! Both state and federal.
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
.....Oneida Lake used to be muddy looking and one of the best walleye fisheries in the US. Now it is much cleaner and the walleye population has plummeted.
Good point. I was going to say that clear water is not always better water for every living organism. It depends on what's making it unclear.

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For those that have never seen the finger lakes, you don't know what you are missing....
I agree. Spectacular scenery. As they were carved by glaciers, they are not only very deep, but the hills rise straight up from the water's edge. The largest two being roughly 40 miles long each. Gorgeous, but can make for some squirrely sailing, as the hills can either block or redirect the winds.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

Biggest problem is to the speed transducer paddle wheel. They can clog and stop it from properly functioning. Over the years I have found e few broken pieces of shells in my strainer, but NOTHING to be alarmed about.

Other than the fact that they alter the natural life of the lake they generally are not a problem to boaters. It does seem to be that the species that they affect have found a way to adapt.
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Old 04-05-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
T For those that have never seen the finger lakes, you don't know what you are missing.
I'm enjoying a cup coffee on the shore of one right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I agree. Spectacular scenery. As they were carved by glaciers, they are not only very deep, but the hills rise straight up from the water's edge. The largest two being roughly 40 miles long each. Gorgeous, but can make for some squirrely sailing, as the hills can either block or redirect the winds.
They certainly can! But as you said, absolutely gorgeous. Especially in the peak fall season.

Brad
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

I was just wondering, has anyone been brave enough to try and cook those little buggers, or are they poisonous, put them in a chowder or something.
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

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I was just wondering, has anyone been brave enough to try and cook those little buggers, or are they poisonous, put them in a chowder or something.
No idea whether they are edible, but the average shell is the size of an eraser head. The meat inside must be inconsequential.
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