Zebra Mussels discovered in Beaver Lake
The first week of May one adult mussel was discovered attached to a shore station being moved in the back of party cove. NE Games & Parks identified it as a zebra mussel and the invasive species program manager came out to inspect and take water samples on May 8. The samples were examined and tested negative. Since mussels need a male & female to reproduce there was a chance it was an isolated adult. Inspection and samples were repeated on May 31. Docks adjacent to the discovered mussel were physically checked with negative results and another water sample was extracted. We were notified on Jun 12 that zebra mussel veligers (baby zebra mussels) were detected in the sample by the NE lab and verified by the state of Montana’s lab. These results indicate we have a breeding population of zebra mussels in the lake. NE Game & Parks collected more samples yesterday (Jun 15, 23.)
Message today from Game & Parks said, “Confirmation of the positive lab sample: Montana lab found what appears to be dreissenid mussel veligers in your sample sent Friday, 6/9 and received today, 6/12 from Beaver Lake. I’ve attached some preliminary photos of the first veliger found, measuring 133 µm in length. Looks like an early umbonal dreissenid veliger (probably Zebra Mussel.) At least 2 veligers of similar age in this sample. Please let us know if you need any further information.”
We will keep you informed on any updated status. More data will be made available as we receive it. The Lake, Fish, and Habitat committee will run point on this effort and develop a BLA web page to disseminate information. The State Invasive Species Program Manager has agreed to attend a question-and-answer session for the Association. We’ll be scheduling that meeting and will advertise it once set.