Aquatic Invasive Mussels Coming Into Montana are Even Creepier
What did Jeff Goldblum say in the first Jurassic Park movie? "Nature...finds a way and...well, there it is."
And why we are probably not to the point of worrying about a life species finding unconventional methods to reproduce itself, there were some concerns raised this week at a Montana watercraft inspection station. And we'll do our best to not make this sound like a science lesson.
Montrana Fish, Wildlife and Parks detailed an account of a boat intercepted this week at an inspection station in eastern Montana. The invasive mussels detected seem to have found a new and more effective way to attach themselves. That's what made this, the 54th boat detected with aquatic invasive species in Montana so far this year, unique.
Invasive mussels have threads they use to attach to underwater surfaces. The threads or “hairs” are an adaptation found on invasive zebra and quagga mussels but are not found on North America’s native freshwater mussel species. At least until now.
Those threads allow Invasive mussels to move from one body of water to another when their threads attach to a watercraft. The boat that Wibaux MT inspectors encountered had been on Lake Lida in Minnesota that morning after two days on the water. What they found was tiny mussels that were hydrostatically clinging to the boat than attached with threads.
So if native freshwater mussels can go hydrostatic, they can allow water molecules to bond surfaces together, in this case mussels and the boat, and maintain that bond after the water has dried. To add to the alarm, this boat had mussels attached after only two days in the water. Normally, a boat would have to be moored in the water for several days before mussels would have time to attach. AND inspectors performed a test on several mussels and found some were still alive and siphoning water!
Could this mean we will be going through even more detailed watercraft inspections in Montana in the near future?
Jeff Goldblum, you wanna take this one?