West Branch: Invasive Zebra Mussel Control Study

Overview

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County confirmed the presence of invasive, nonnative zebra mussels in Deep Quarry Lake and Bass Lake at West Branch Forest Preserve in Bartlett. The District staff and volunteers under the Protect Your Waters program have been monitoring mussel populations at these and all District lakes, ponds and specific sections of the West and East Branches of the DuPage River and Salt Creek throughout the county.

During the week of August 5, 2013, Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) will treat an area on the west side of Deep Quarry Lake with Zequanox, a product derived from the dead cells of a naturally occurring bacterium. The treatment area will be fitted with PVC curtains with a buoyant top that extend down to the lake bottom and form a vertical barrier that blocks off the treated waters from the remainder of the lake. Pre- and post-treatment monitoring will be conducted by Southern Illinois University (SIU) through September 2013. The treatment is part of a cooperative project between the District, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), SIU and MBI.

The west trail at the lake and treatment area will be posted closed to “active fishing” on the day of application. The West Branch Forest Preserve will remain open to the public. An educational display posted at the lake will provide information about Zequanox.

Researchers studying the product’s effectiveness in a 2012 study found that the treated sites had an average mussel mortality of 97% compared to 11% mortality in control sites. No juvenile or adult fish mortality was observed within treated sites 24 hours after product application, and monitoring indicated no lasting effects on water quality.

Zequanox, which is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has no known ill effects on fish, humans or wildlife other than filter-feeding invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

Project Funding

The zebra mussel control study is funded by MBI, the IDNR through a grant from U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The District’s Office of Natural Resources is providing in-kind services and equipment, staff and facility to accommodate the study.

Image © FPDDC

Treatment sites, called corrals, will be established on Deep Quarry Lake to study the effectiveness of Zequanox® at controlling invasive zebra mussels.

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