Zebra Mussels?
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Posted on Thursday Aug 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM  
Kurt -

Haven't run an outboard in Oklahoma in years , but this old rig I have been running has a Mercury 135HP Black Max on it - its been a coastal Texas boat for its history

I've run it in Kaw three times since I've had it , decided to drop the lower unit to replace the water pump the other day (boat hadn't been in the water in 12 days) - In this heat I was surprised to find about a 1/4 cup of water in various places crevices that hadn't dried - and these areas were FULL of what appeared to be shell stage zebra mussels -

What else could possible be done short of quit boating - you would think that after such a long period that the water would be dried up -

I am thinking of drilling additional small ports to make sure these areas drain out - but those mussels were clogging other drain ports as well --

Bad for a boat that wasn't in the water long - wonder just how much is transported lake to lake in this manner --
Those who would give up constitutional freedoms to elected officials in exchange for a false sense of security, deserve neither freedom or security.
Posted on Friday Aug 3, 2012 at 8:11 AM  
Tony, what is even more scary/sadder than that is thinking about the microscopic velliger (larval) stage of the zebra mussel. These larvae are present in high densities in infested waters, and are VERY prone to being transported in bilge water, livewells, or any nook/cranny in a boat or motor. I would guess the way you got so many shelled mussels in your lower unit is because they were sucked into the impellar as velligers and found a spot to hang on and mature into shelled juvenile mussels.

The situation is dire to say the least. My personal opinion (I am NOT representing ODWC with this thought) is that even the most strict regulations will not prevent the spread of these aquatic nuisance species. Your experience testifies to that, and you are a conscientious/concerned avid angler who knows there is a serious problem and cannot even combat the ANS risks through education and intense cleaning/prevention. Can you imagine the probability of ANS transport/introductions by an average weekend party boater with no knowledge/concern regarding ANS? Heck, we see examples of people who simply do not know/care trying to launch a boat with mature zebra mussels covering the entire boat hull (like the guy who tried launching his infested vessel at Texoma a couple years ago). No amount of boater education will prevent the spread of ANS...best case scenario is to educate enough folks to slow the spread.

Our GLOBAL world today really magnifies this problem. Unintentional introductions of non-native species is happening every day in every habitat (aquatic and terrestrial). All we really can do is hope that native species can overcome these invaders and remain the dominant species in their native systems.

This is not to say that we should just give up and not even try to wash our vessels, or take precautions, or help educate other anglers/boaters. We should in fact do ALL WE CAN to prevent the spread of ANS. I just think that it will happen in spite of the efforts of concerned anglers and boaters.
Posted on Friday Aug 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM  
Kurt to add on to that. I heard some rumors that a chemical has been found that you can spray on your boat to where the zebra mussels cant adhere to your hull. Is this true?
A house divided can never stand.   -Abraham Lincoln
Posted on Friday Sep 14, 2012 at 11:25 AM  
I have not heard of this product, but have used a spray that will actually dissolve the calcium in the Zeb's shell on contact. I have visited with Ponca City Golf maintenance personnel and they are really fighting these criters that are inside their water lines, pumps and sprinkler heads that irrigrate the golf course. Can you imagine what kind of damage and water flow restrictions they can do to a golf course suffering from the drought conditions this year! Good Luck!
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