It is something that I didn’t want to read about, but like a slow motion car crash you could see it coming. The Duluth News Tribune has reported that Minnesota now has Quagga mussels.
These little mussels are so nasty they out compete Zebra Mussels. While it does not appear that they will provide a huge infestation in the deep of Lake Superior, this is terrible news for the Duluth Harbor and St. Louis River – and whatever other lake and river they are spread to after that.
Quaggas are ferocious eaters – robbing the food chain for native species – and their waste ends up raising the acid levels in the water. They highly concentrate toxins such as mercury in their bodies, passing on those toxins to whatever happens to eat them. They also like to latch on to underwater pipes and will certainly prove to be a huge expense to any industry and water treatment facility located on the lakeshore.
These little invaders are the result of poor ballast water regulation from oceangoing ships. When will we get serious about preventing this type of thing from happening again?