I wrote earlier that initial trials to confirm the specific effect on invasive zebra and quagga mussels of the bacterium in the pesticide Zequanox were successful. Also, it was determined that dead bacteria were just as effective as live ones in killing the mussels.
Dr. Daniel Molloy, who discovered this lethal quality, concluded that toxins in the bacteria, not infection, kill the mussels, lowering even more the potential risk to other species. Researchers anticipated that open-water application would be effective.
Zequanox was successfully applied, in combination with two toxic chemicals, to the invasive mussel infestation of Christmas Lake in Minnesota.
So the question occurred to me, why don’t we use Zequanox to clean the alien mussels out of Lake St. Clair?
Well, the simple answer is that the cost would be too high.
According to Susan Cosier in onEarth magazine (May 2015), Dr. Molloy says, “... we need something that gets into every nook and cranny of the Great Lakes—and something that doesn’t cost a fortune to use repeatedly.” Cosier continues, “Applying the pesticide to 3,000 square feet of Minnesota’s Christmas Lake cost $6,800. Lake Erie, by comparison, has a surface area of 9,990 square miles.”
Where do we go from here? That is the question being addressed by the Invasive Mussel Collaborative, a joint undertaking by the U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
The Collaborative is presenting a webinar, “Lessons learned from recent open-water applications and field trials of Zequanox®” on July 22, 2015 10:00-11:30 am Eastern.
Register now to reserve your spot!
The webinar will feature presentations from representatives of the following agencies:
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- U.S. Geological Survey