RRFW Riverwire – Quagga Mussels Found Below Glen Canyon Dam - Mountain Buzz
 

Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Rafting


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-01-2014   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 920
RRFW Riverwire – Quagga Mussels Found Below Glen Canyon Dam

RRFW Riverwire – Quagga Mussels Found Below Glen Canyon Dam
November 1, 2014

Quagga mussels are now in the smooth water section of the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lee’s Ferry.

These tiny clam-like creatures can grow to the size of a nickel and first showed up in the reservoir just downstream of the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, in 2007. National Park officials fought for a decade to keep quagga out of Lake Powell, the reservoir above Glen Canyon Dam. They lost that battle in 2012.

Recently, National Park Service officials noted large numbers of the larva were passing through Glen Canyon Dam, and last week, quagga mussels were discovered by a Lee’s Ferry fishing guide attached to cobbles in the 15 mile section of Glen Canyon between Glen Canyon Dam and Lee’s Ferry. Below Lee’s Ferry the Colorado River flows through the 280 mile long Grand Canyon National Park.

Terry Gun, of Lee’s Ferry Anglers, is concerned. “We had heard these mussels would not inhabit the areas of the river with current, but the guides are finding the mussels in areas with flow, especially where the mussels are protected behind rocks.” According to Gunn, all boaters launching now at Lee’s Ferry have a possibility of having their rafts and hard hull boats contaminated with quagga. Two photos of quagga in Glen Canyon taken the week of October 27, 2014, may be seen here:

https://rrfw.org/sites/default/files...n_Oct_2014.jpg

https://rrfw.org/sites/default/files...e_Oct_2014.jpg

While the mussels can live for weeks out of the water, they do not survive in muddy water, especially at turbidity levels found in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

Concerns include quagga mussels colonizing hydroelectric plants such as the Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam, the largest hydroelectric plants on the Colorado River. Quagga can clog water supply pipes used to cool generators, compressors, transformers and other equipment at these dams.

Research is ongoing to find a freshwater predator or bacteria that would be harmful to quagga. In the meantime, the mussel has arrived and the mussel’s impact to the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead remains uncertain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to [email protected] and we'll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.

Join RRFW's listserver to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It's as easy as sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]

Check out RRFW's Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on Do-It-Yourself Grand Canyon rafting info http://www.rrfw.org/RaftingGrandCanyon/Main_Page

Check out new items and donate at the RRFW Store! RRFW is a non-profit project of Living Rivers. https://www.rrfw.org/store

Visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RRFW.org and https://www.facebook.com/groups/raftgc/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-02-2014   #2
 
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 713
Are they a danger to native plants and/or fish, or just to the hydro plants?

Sounds like a dream come true, if only the latter.
__________________
www.LaceMine29.com
mikesee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #3
 
Sembob's Avatar
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 506
They will change the natural ecosystems entirely. They will out compete the native aquatic insect larvae (nymphs) thus greatly reducing the food the fish rely on.


Jim
Sembob is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-02-2014   #4
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
Are they a danger to native plants and/or fish
Yes. They can severely alter food webs in certain cases. They are also unlikely to colonize swift rivers without upstream lentic habitats supplying large amounts of veligers for colonization. In other words, it is just another way that the Powell Reservoir is pooping in the river.

Now they are putting another invasive fish, redear sunfish, into Mead to help control the mussles.
mikepart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #5
 
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sembob View Post
They will change the natural ecosystems entirely.
The mussels or the dams?
__________________
www.LaceMine29.com
mikesee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #6
 
Sembob's Avatar
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 506
Frankly my dear, I don't want a dam. But..... What was the topic?


Jim
Sembob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #7
 
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
They are a horrible addition to the colorado river system. And from a management funding standpoint....the dam will always have funding for development to maintain its purpose but wildlife and aquatic services rarely are able to keep up with this form of biological warfare.

On the other hand....mussels seem like a losing battle unless we are willing to entirely ban motorized vessels from moving between waters. And I don't ever see that being politically viable in the US.

We are so far down this rabbit hole I don't know what to think about introducing invasive biocontrols to eradicate other invasive species. Such a nasty issue.

Phillip
restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #8
 
Sembob's Avatar
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 506
As mike says they are unlikely to colonize swift water ecosystems and the lakes are already unnatural I do wonder what impact they will have. Of course as Phillip states they will spread to natural Stillwater environments and reek havoc.
Are these the same creature that turned the Great Lakes into a clear blue but much more lifeless environment?


Jim
Sembob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2014   #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,000
Hi,

Sort of depends on what you mean by "swiftwater." There aren't any rapids between the Dam and Lees Ferry, but they evidently can survive the temperature and moving current in that stretch.

Here in Illinois, we have them in moving streams as well as lakes, so there is at least some additional reason to believe they are resilient in that regard. The sediment load in our infested rivers is not as dense as when the Paria and LCR are kicking hard, nor as persistent. But even with our harsh winters and spring runoffs, they have (sadly) survived and prospered.

The shells are small and sharp. In addition to all the other problems, if they wind up infesting the rocks on the river through GC, it could be a real challenge keeping soft-hull craft moored without incurring damage.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
richp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2014   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 106
Would it help to introduce Prince Edward Island mussels? They, at least, are delicious.
ridecats is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RRFW Riverwire – Glen canyon Dam Update Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 04-11-2008 09:46 PM
RRFW Riverwire – Glen Canyon Dam Update Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 12-06-2007 12:22 PM
RRFW Riverwire Glen Canyon Dam Update Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 11-06-2007 07:19 PM
RRFW Riverwire – Glen Canyon Dam Update Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 10-02-2007 11:27 AM
RRFW Riverwire – Glen Canyon Dam Update Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 1 09-05-2007 09:48 AM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.