N.Y. DEC Discovers Zebra Mussels Near Rome Hatchery
In late January 2020, invasive zebra mussels were discovered in Delta Lake, which supplies water to DEC's Rome Fish Hatchery. DEC immediately launched an investigation and confirmed the presence of zebra mussel larvae in an outdoor raceway. The Rome Hatchery is one of DEC's largest hatcheries with annual production totaling nearly 160,000 pounds of brook, rainbow, and brown trout. DEC is currently developing short and long-term strategies to limit the spread of this invasive species and ensure the hatchery returns to normal production.
Zebra mussels are an invasive, fingernail-sized mollusk native to fresh waters in Eurasia. Zebra mussels negatively impact ecosystems - they filter out algae that native species need for food and they attach to, as well as incapacitate, native mussels. New York has more than 7,000 lakes, ponds, and rivers that could potentially be exposed to dozens of harmful aquatic invasive species (AIS). One of the main pathways for transfer of AIS between waterbodies is recreational water vehicles. DEC advises boaters and anglers to check boats, trailers, and other fishing and boating equipment for any plants or animals that may be clinging to it.
Photo from USGS Archive, USGS, Bugwood.org