Zebra Mussels: Wrecking havoc on economy and ecology

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Here in the Tennessee Valley we are aware of some invasive species like the Bighead Carp or the Silver Carp. But, how many of us have ever heard of Zebra Mussels. Well, one boater in Georgia is very aware of the species now because after his trip to the Tennessee River, here in Chattanooga, he came home with more than just his boat.


Owners of a boat taken to Lake Lanier after being used on the Tennessee River…

Posted by Wildlife Resources Division – Georgia DNR on Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Zebra mussels—officially apart of the mollusk family, the size of a fingernail and just waiting to attach themselves so that they cause major ecological and economic damage.

Jim Page, Georgia’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator says, “Some of your power companies will spend million of dollars each year to try and correct that problem. So, that’s pone economic issue. Certainly, boaters themselves, these things can encrust the outside of a motor on the foot of the motor and cause a lot of drag issues.”

Zebra mussels originally came from Asia, arrived in the Great Lakes in 1980 and have made their way to several states including Alabama.

Fortunately for Georgia, they have been able to keep their waterway’s clear, as far as they know.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources says that they are counting on boaters to remain vigilant.

“He was very observant, He realized that he had a mussel attached to his boat that didn’t look right, didn’t appear to be something that was potentially native. So, he called us, which is what we encourage all folks to do if you are uncertain or even slightly uncertain, give us a call and we will be glad to come and identify the species because prevention is key”, Page adds.

Zebra Mussels are living in the Tennessee River.

The TWRA spends their time educating boaters on how to stop the spread.

Brandon Ragland, a TWRA Wildlife Manager says, “We just let boaters know that we have them here and the steps that we ask them to take to clean thier boats before they go to other water bodies.”

Both the TWRA and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources want to remind boat owners to clean, drain and dry your boat at the boat ramp after every use. That way you can ensure that you don’t have any of those aquatic hitchhikers. You can also look for posted signage.

Invasive Zebra Mussels Found in Certain Aquarium Products

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, alongside other…

Posted by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Wednesday, March 10, 2021


Categories: Environment, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News

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