Thursday, October 29, 2020

Q & A Webinar on Zebra Mussels with Nicole Kovar

On October 22nd we welcomed LLAA members to our Q&A on Zebra Mussels with Nicole Kovar, the Northwest Region Invasive Species Specialist. She has been in this role since 2014 in the MN DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division.   
Nicole received her bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in East Lansing. Prior to becoming an invasive species specialist, Nicole worked for the MN DNR Wildlife Section for nine years in the shallow lakes program monitoring and managing aquatic habitat to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife. 
Nicole and her colleague Mark Ranweiler, an invasive species specialist from the Fergus Falls DNR office, used scuba gear to confirm adult zebra mussels at the south access here on Long Lake.   
Thank you, Nicole for sharing your expertise with us in our Q & A session.

 Watch Nicole's full Webinar on YouTube Here

 Below is a follow up letter from Nicole answering 4 questions asked by participants of the webinar

Hi there,

It’s always my pleasure and I’m very glad it’s useful!  Let me know anytime you’d need something similar done again.

1.   Filters can be found more readily through online sellers.  The type used are poly or nylon mesh bag filters (sock filters) that could be fitted right over the metal screen on the intake.  The size micron bags recommended are between 25 and 40 micron.  The earlier life stage of the mussels (1-2 days called trocophores) are 40 microns small.  A 25 micron filter has been shown effective to block most veligers in trials.  The higher number of micron the “harder” the draw on the irrigation pump so a person should keep that in mind.  25 might be the best compromise between filtering capability and ease to the pump.  If the filter makes the pump fail, there’s no sense to blocking the ZEB that may make the pump fail.  Here is an example: .  I don’t recommend this over any other and I think a person should shop around for what suits their needs, making sure the size fits the intake screen.  It could be secured with the appropriate size hose clamp over the existing screen.  These would also require cleaning periodically as silt and debris will accumulate.

2.  This link  shows you the first three general permits would be most applicable for shoreline residents in different situations.  First one would be if maybe a resident raked up AIS from the shoreline but wanted to take it off the property to, say, the transfer station compost pile.  Second one would be for boats and third one would be for equipment, even if to go to their own address but they will be using the PWA and traveling down the road.

3. This is an example of a zebra mussel rejecting harmful algae. this is of Quagga but same theory.  The one I remember seeing was given in a presentation and I can’t find it online at the moment.  It was more of a microscope view.  I’ll keep searching to see if I can find it.

4. This video is of Gobies eating ZEB.  Gobies are harmful invasives and also from the Black and Caspian Seas.  They are a historic predator of zebra mussels.

Please let me know if any additional questions come up.

Best and Be well!


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