According to a recent bulletin from The Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife News, quagga and zebra mussels that have taken over many of the waterways in central and eastern areas of the United States and Canada, especially in the Great Lakes, aren’t the only aquatic invasive species that have biologists worried. Invasive plankton or copepods have been taking over Northwest waters for over two decades.
Stephen Bollens of Washington State University's School of the Environment, says the good news about zebra and quagga mussels is that out of 300 samples from boats in the Northwest processed in 2014 and 2015 using a FlowCam, there had been no detections of the invasive species.
Bollens and Tim Counihan, U.S. Geological Survey Columbia River Research Laboratory are working on a BPA-funded project on enhanced monitoring and early detection of invasive quagga and zebra mussels. When the project is completed, the two will present the results to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The project's objectives are to:
- contribute to the coordination of regional early detection efforts;
- summarize past efforts in the context of risk assessment data;
- provide a framework for prioritization of boat cleaning stations;
- assess the use of new detection technology, such as the FlowCam and environmental DNA to process mussel veliger monitoring samples from the Columbia River Basin; and
- conduct research that will help to assess the causes and effects of biological invasions in the basin.
Here are a some more resources to learn how using dynamic imaging particle analysis can help you with invasive species detection:
- Learn how our instrument is used to detect mussels veligers using cross-polarized illumination
- See how the FlowCam is helping to identify and study invasive green crab larvae on Maine's coast
- Learn about the National Park Service's Quagga Mussel Blitz