Dreissenid Mussel Open Water Control Technologies

Quagga and zebra mussels (i.e., dreissenid mussels) are invasive ecosystem engineers that filter-feed heavily on primary producers, modify substrate, increase light availability in the water column, and alter nutrient cycling processes. As a result, dreissenid mussels have caused fundamental changes to the structure of Great Lakes food webs with significant impacts to the fishery. While removal of dreissenid mussels on an ecosystem scale remains logistically impossible, recent studies on a shallow, rocky reef in northern Lake Michigan have explored targeted removals with the goal of protecting critical habitat. Preliminary results suggest that removing mussels slows down nutrient cycling and that recolonization of mussels is limited. To date, no studies have explored the consequences of removing mussels in the deep-water, soft sediments that represent much of the Great Lakes. 

This project is developing new methods and technologies to remove invasive dreissenid mussels from soft substrates and supporting field testing of new approaches.

FY 2024: $454,600

FY 2023: $332,800

FY 2022: $452,800

FY 2021: $120,000