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NFC: Zebra Mussels
As someone who lives in the Lake Erie area and
has fished and swam in it for many years I would like to share with you what I
have seen first hand. It used to be that native clams and mussels could be found
everywhere in the lake. Some would get as big as your fist and look like
something that should come from the ocean not a fresh water lake. These are all
gone now extinct. The zebra mussels found them to be a good spot to attach
themselves to so that they couldn't open there shells and feed. They block
intake and output pipes from water systems and turned soft sandy beaches into a
mess of razor sharp shells. Unless you see it it is hard to imagine the millions
and millions of shells everywhere you look.
Another non-native species to the Great Lakes
area is the goby. These fish came in the ballast tanks of ships just like the
zebra mussels. Theses fish are also destroying the eco-system of the great lakes
area as they are swarming everywhere and outcompeting the native fish for food.
One thing they are eating is (you guessed it) zebra mussels. While this sounds
like a good thing the gobies then get infested with all the PCBS and trash that
the mussels ate. Then you guessed it Walleye, and Small Mouth Bass eat the goby
and they get infested with the PCBS then people eat them. This is really
starting to worry the officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania they don't talk about
it much but it is becoming a BIG worry around here.
The spawn from the mussels is so small that it
can be transported in live wells and bait buckets from body of water to body of
water and you would never know it. IMHO this is the biggest threat that the
Great Lakes have ever seen.