Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are an
invasive mollusk that look like small clams with wavy black or brown and
cream-colored stripes . They are native to the Caspian Sea in
Eastern Europe and may have come to North America in the
mid-1990s as stowaways in the ballast water of ships. They have
been problematic in the Great Lakes states and in the Mississippi
River and its tributaries.
Zebra mussels have not been documented in Georgia
waters yet. Learn about this important ANS and learn ways to
help prevent its spread and introduction into our state's
Zebra Mussels can:
- Cluster in large colonies - up to several thousand per square
- Clog water-intake and outlet pipes, pumps, and motors of
municipal, industrial, and power plants.
- Damage boat engines and foul hulls.
- Kill native mollusk and shellfish, compete with plankton-eating
organisms for food, and eliminate spawning beds for fish.
How they spread:
- As hitchhikers in and on boats, motors, livewells, trailers and
even recreational equipment.
- Through direct waterway connections throughout
How to prevent spread:
- Inspect boats and equipment after leaving the water (including
trailers) and before moving to a new location.
- Scrape or remove mussels from boats and equipment before
leaving infested waters. Dispose of them in the trash. Do not
throw on the ground or in the water.
- Drain all bilge water, livewells, bait buckets and lower units
(if possible) before you leave infested areas.
- Clean boats thoroughly before moving to new waters, especially
if you have been in infested areas.
Cleaning tips .
Links to Zebra Mussel Information
Mussel Fact Sheet (Gulf and South Atlantic ANS Panel)
Zebra Mussel Profile (Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers)
Initiative (joint agency project)
Zebra Mussel Fact Sheet (Ohio SeaGrant)
 http://www.sg.ohio-state.edu/_documents/publications/FS/FS-045 Zebra mussels in North America.pdf