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Marine Safety

Zebra Mussels Cross the 100th Meridian!

Zebra Mussels have been confirmed by Wen Baldwin, Lake Mead Boat Owner's Association at Lake Mead. Wen wrote in an email:

Live zebra mussels were found Saturday, January 6th, 2007 at Las Vegas Boat Harbor by an alert marina employee while repairing wind damage to a tire breakwater. One was found on a cable anchoring the breakwater. Subsequently, more were found on the tires above. I then checked my substrate which is located approximately 50 yards away and found two smaller live zebra mussels on it. (See pictures)

When I left Las Vegas Boat Harbor, I went to Lake Mead Marina and check the substrate there. Sad to say I found one there on the line to the substrate.

Neither substrate had zms on them when they were checked in November.

NPS divers will be diving Tuesday AM to try to evaluate the extent of colonization. I will keep you updated.

This is bad news for Lake Mead and even worse news for the entire West. Lake Mead is essentially a thousand miles from the nearest confirmed population of Dreissena polymorpha in the United States. With a potential jump range of 1000 miles, nowhere is safe.

Pictures and status reports will be posted on-line at

-David Britton
Asst. Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Region 2