MUSSEL EXPERTS BEGIN FLEXING THIS WEEK
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 20, 1998) - When the zebra mussel
flexes its might, the power industry cowers at the half a billion
dollars each year it shells out to remove these pesky and prolific
mollusks from intake pipes.
ability to reproduce is phenomenal, said Dr. Paul Johnson,
research scientist for the Tennessee Aquariums Southeast
Aquatic Research Institute. Growing as many as 300,000 per square
yard, the inch-long creatures can firmly attach themselves to
anything hard -- the insides of pipes, boat hulls, docks, or
even live animals like freshwater mussels and crayfish.
and other zebra mussel experts will address methods to control
population growth at the Southern Region Zebra Mussel Conference,
which will be held April 20-22 at the Chattanooga Marriott Hotel
and Convention Center.
is interested in ways to control the animals without toxic chemicals
such as chlorine. His April 21 presentation will focus on the
effects of low oxygen and elevated carbon dioxide levels on
zebra mussel survivorship.
of Russia, zebra mussels arrived in Lake Saint Claire, near
Detroit, Michigan in 1986. Since that time they have spread
throughout the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River drainages.
Although zebra mussels are found in the Tennessee River, so
far they have not been found in the overwhelming numbers that
cause such major problems to industries in the Great Lakes and
Ohio River. They are spread primarily through commercial navigation
conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority, US
Army Corps of Engineers WES, Ohio Sea Grant, Kentucky-Tennessee
AWWA, Louisiana Sea Grant, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.