In 1997 Ecology’s Lake Water Quality Assessment Program, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, began monitoring for zebra mussels in 30 selected lakes throughout the state. The monitoring is conducted in coordination with our existing lake monitoring program whereby volunteers monitor lake water quality twice monthly. Zebra mussel monitoring consists of an examination of a brick suspended at least 10 feet into the water column. Zebra mussel veligers (young free-floating offspring) will attach to hard substrates and, if present, can be readily seen by occasionally hoisting the brick and examining it.
The zebra mussel program was launched as part of a nation-wide effort to help monitor and protect waterbodies from further infestation by zebra mussels. To date, no zebra mussels have been observed in the environment west of the continental divide. They are, however, spreading throughout the Mississippi River basin and have been found in boat bilges as far west as California. Many scientists think their arrival in the Pacific Northwest is just a matter of time.
Presently, Ecology’s zebra mussel monitoring program is unfunded. Obtaining federal grant money is essential to expanding and properly maintaining a state-wide zebra mussel monitoring program. Federal funding will allow Ecology to monitor additional waters using a variety of sophisticated monitoring techniques.
The following lakes were monitored in 1997:
|Alice (King)||Bosworth (Snohomish)||Clear (Spokane)|
|Crawfish (Okanogan)||Curlew (Ferry)||Deep (Stevens)|
|Gravelly (Pierce)||Haven (Mason)||Hicks (Thurston)|
|Ki (Snohomish)||Limerick (Mason)||Long (Kitsap)|
|Long (Thurston)||Loon (Stevens)||Mason (Mason)|
|Nahwatzel (Mason)||Newman (Spokane)||Palmer (Okanogan)|
|Phillips (Mason)||Roesiger (north arm) (Snohomish)||Roesiger (south arm) (Snohomish)|
|Samish (east arm) (Whatcom)||Sawyer (King)||Spanaway (Pierce)|
|Tapps (Pierce)||Thomas (Stevens)||Wenatchee (Chelan)|
|Wildcat (Kitsap)||Wooten (Mason)||Wye (Kitsap)|
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