The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) confirmed that zebra
mussels have been found in Lake Housatonic. The adult zebra mussels were found by divers working for Biodrawversity LLC, the consulting firm hired by DEEP to survey for
zebra mussels in the Housatonic River system and other nearby high calcium content waters. Federal Aquatic Nuisance Species funding was used to fund this survey.
The presence of zebra mussels is not unexpected as the mussels were found in Lakes Zoar and Lillinonah, the two large impoundments located immediately upstream of Lake Housatonic,
in November, 2010. Zebra mussels were first found in the Housatonic River in 2009 when they were discovered in Laurel Lake in Lee, Massachusetts, and subsequent sampling found them
in the lake's outflow into the mainstem river.
The non-native zebra mussel is a black and white-striped bivalve mollusk that was unintentionally introduced into North American waters through the discharge of ship ballast water.
Since its discovery in Lake St. Clair (Michigan/Ontario) in 1988, the zebra mussel has spread throughout the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River system and most of New York State
including Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. More recently, both zebra mussels and quagga mussels (a related species) have been expanding their range into a number
of western and southwestern states. Read more...