The Federal Laboratory Consortium describes: Mussels can attach to and clog pipes, pumps, trash racks, cooling water systems, fire protection systems, and virtually any water-related infrastructure surface, thereby reducing the reliability and efficiency of water and hydropower systems while simultaneously increasing maintenance costs. BurRec has developed a Mussel Detection and Monitoring Program to better understand the spread of mussels. This program cooperates with states and other partners to come up with proactive measures to provide the earliest detection possible for any new mussel introductions that can reduce the need to remove mussels or interrupt Reclamation’s facilities and structures.
Zebra and quagga mussels have recently invaded the Colorado River and other western water bodies. Detecting and preventing the spread of these mussels is, therefore, critical to the Bureau of Reclamation’s primary mission of water and hydropower delivery. To advance the capability of monitoring water bodies for the presence of mussels, Reclamation has entered into a CRADA with Fluid Imaging Technologies to conduct research for improving automated detection and quantification of invasive mussel larvae (also known as “veliger”). Larvae are 70 to 200 microns in size (about half the size of the period at the end of this sentence). Detecting and monitoring invasive mussel larvae is the cornerstone of an effective strategy to manage these invasive nuisances.