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Right...it would likely only impact the Suskie.

I should clarify that my comment about rooting for them was a bit tongue-in-cheek. While I'd love to see some magic bullet sollution to clean the Suskie, I'm well aware that they also do tremendous damage to ecosystems (not to mention cost hydro companies millions). Some folks even hypothesize that the over-filtering by zebra mussels in the Great Lakes is what caused the collapse of the Grand Banks fishery hundreds of miles into the North Atlantic (too few nutrients from the St. L. reaching the Grand Banks).
 

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Right...it would likely only impact the Suskie.

Some folks even hypothesize that the over-filtering by zebra mussels in the Great Lakes is what caused the collapse of the Grand Banks fishery hundreds of miles into the North Atlantic (too few nutrients from the St. L. reaching the Grand Banks).
Well, I'm glad it wasn't due to overfishing:clapping2:
Pat in Joppa
 

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There are a few nuke power plants along the Susky.If their intake pipes get clogged :eek::eek:.

Should be interesting if more turn up.No way to remove them from the river if they start to breed.

As bad as they are - a part of me hopes they are there to stay.Clean water flowing down the Susky - WOW.
 

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May be bad in general but it would be great for the smallmouth fishing as proven in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Jim
 

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"The objectives of this study were to determine the tolerance of various life stages of zebra mussels to salinity; determine the extent to which acclimation events in estuarine systems affect tolerance of zebra mussels; and determine the effects of salinity on health or condition of adult zebra mussels. At high temperatures (18-20 degrees C), the condition of zebra mussels is reduced at salinities above 1 parts per thousand. However, at lower temperatures (3-12 degrees C), the optimum salinity for zebra mussels is 2-4 parts per thousand. The incipient lethal salinity of post-veligers is near 2 parts per thousand, of larger adults (5-15mm) between 2 parts per thousand and 4 parts per thousand, and of veliger larvae near 4.5 parts per thousand. Zebra mussels are able to acclimate to slowly changing salinities (i.e., 1 parts per thousand d(-1)) such that time to 50% mortality of a population should be greater than 1 yr at temperatures near 20 degrees C and salinities up to 8 parts per thousand."
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It will definetely be a problem only the northern part of the bay will have to deal with. It all depends on how much rainfall we receive, but I believe the salinity around the Bay Bridge averages 6-8 parts per thousand

thanks, Fishing-Rod
 

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Sciencetists also said Rockfish would not spawn in the lakes down south when the dams were built.Some things in nature do not follow the rules.

Zebra mussels might surprise everyone.
 

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Hey guys, here is one way it'll hurt you:

You fish the flats in the spring and then have to impound your boat for a month or something before you move it anywhere. You'll have to do a special power washing process with ultra heated water possibly. $$$$ These are things I've had to deal with when working in Zebra Mussel free waters in NY.

They can help with water clarity, but at the expense of the existence of many other native species. I guess time will only tell now.
 

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I doubt they are gonna do anything with the strong running, sediment-rich spring runoffs coming down the Susky. Thats all about impervious surfaces and erosion control.
 

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Bug Guy thanks for saying something really important. Water clarity does not equal water quality. The only thing that has happened in the Great Lakes as a result of their introduction is you can now see 20 ft down in Lake Erie. Which means macrophytes and phytoplankton are booming from phosphorus and nitrogen inputs and when those die you get massive dead zones. Yes they have them there too. Loss of native freshwater mussels, which filter water and live decades, descreased biodiversity, ruined habitat, and complete ecosystem shift to go with the millions upon millions they cause non-biological damage. They haven't done one positive thing for water quality and any apparent benefit is a anecdotal trade off with multiple downsides. This isn't just a single report here or there this is almost two decades of intensive study on zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. They aren't just a sponge for excess nutrients and suspended sediment, it's not that easy.
 

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I was wondering where they would first show up in MD. The Annapolis paper didn't provide much detail, especially how many were found. The whole Zebra mussel and exotic species issue is loaded with hyperbole from both sides, some of it extreme. The article said, "The mussels compete with native mussels and fish for plankton, and their sharp shells can create problems on beaches. They also ruin water quality and clog water intakes." Jeez... I've heard that the Zebra mussel in the Great Lakes have done wonders over the years at clarifying the water in the more polluted lakes. Guess it depends on who you talk to and what their personal agenda is. In a few years after zebra mussel introduction visibility in Lake Erie went from inches to many feet and fish populations have improved dramatically. Clogging intakes can be a problem but there are solutions. I'm guessing that most, if not all, the utility water intakes along the Susky have already been upgraded to deal with a possible invasion of Zebra mussels. I'm also guessing that the only way Zebra mussels can "ruin water quality" is if populations explode by the zillions then suddenly crash releasing a huge amount of mussel biomass as they decay. Thats what happened a few years ago on the Patapsco and the Magothy when the false mussels crashed. The water got really nasty looking.

I don't fish the Susky as much as I use to 6-8 years ago. I use to fish a lot just above Harrisburg during low summer flow. Water was always quite clear then. True, when the Susky floods the water can stay very turbid for days if not weeks. But this turbidity was the result of sediments washing into the river. Zebra mussels don't so much filter out sediments and nutrients, but instead they filter out the plankton that feeds on the nutrients. Therefore, I doubt the Zebra mussels will do much to improve water clarity in the Susky, its already respectably clear when its not flooding. Guess we shall see what happens in the next few years.
 

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If zebra mussels feed on the plankton in the water wouldn't that mean they are competing with the filter feeders already in the bay, oysters and menhaden?
 

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Yes, they are competing with other filter feeders. However, lots of the native filter feeders are severely reduced in numbers. I'll take this invader over having no filter feeders.

As they filter out plankton, the extra sunlight that reaches deeper into the water column will 1) grow more plankton and 2) grow sea grass on the bottom. So long as the plankton keep growing and being eaten, eventually, the nutrients in the water will be used up.....provided we don't keep dumping in more than what is taken out. With more sea grass on the bottom, we have increased habitat and animal life. Can't complain about that.

Too bad the Zebra Mussel can't grow in salt water. I would love to have them all over the Bay.....great filter feeders with ZERO commercial value.
 

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. . . Too bad the Zebra Mussel can't grow in salt water. I would love to have them all over the Bay.....great filter feeders with ZERO commercial value.
I have to respectfully disagree with this logic, here is why:

Nutrients enter the bay from the bay watershed. Algae in the bay bloom from the excess nutrients. In other words, the algae are incorporating the nutrients into themselves. If the zebra mussel could live in salt water and had invaded, they would likely filter out the algae, reducing the amount of algae and making the water clearer. However, all the nutrients taken up by the algae all become part of the zebra mussel which all stays in the bay - especially if they are not removed. There is no net loss of nutrients all. So, what happens to it?

Best case scenario:
1) They are eaten by something useful in the bay which either migrates out or can be fished for.
2) They die, and fertilize the bottom of the bay for sea grasses which are good.

Worst case, and in my opinion, the more likely scenario:
1) They are food for something we don't want (like cow nose rays for example)
2) They die, decompose, and decrease oxygen on the bottom of the bay which is bad for crabs.
3) They die, and are good fertilizer for some more opportunistic, but much less desirable species (like some nasty filamentous algae which I looked up real quick and may be occurring in the great lakes).

If oysters were to return to harvestable levels, they'd suck up the nutrients, we could harvest them, and that would lead to the removal of nutrients from the bay. Restoring oysters and smartly managing the harvest (i.e. not allowing greed to make the decisions), is in my opinion, a potential win-win for everyone.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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The cow nosed rays are already here to stay. Wether they eat clams, oysters, crabs or zebra mussles isn't really the point. The are a native fish that very few people (rec or comm) target. They are born too big for most bay predators to eat so they reproduce with only a slight chance at early predation so their population increases at huge numbers every spawning season.

Constellation energy has at least one nuke plant on the great lakes in NY and they seem to be able to keep their intakes clean. I don't know how they do it, but you don't hear about them needing to shut down their reactors because of over heating...I don't like the zebras here, but it's sort of poetic justice for the bay. The state won't stop the harvest of the oysters so they can filter the water, something has to do it...
 

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. . . The state won't stop the harvest of the oysters so they can filter the water, something has to do it...
I can't really disagree with that statement. It's really a mute point because zebras can't handle the salinity of the bay, but I'll throw this out there: some people have been proposing the idea of ocean fertilization to "grow" algae for harvest in order to make bio-fuel. Who here wants to be a millionaire with me and tell me how we can get the algae and other forms of bad carbon out of the bay, in an ecologically friendly manner, so we can make diesel out of it?
 
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