USGS Explores Destroying Zebra Mussels with Soil Bacteria

Mesaage below from: Wakeman, Robert S – Wisconsin DNR
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:25 PM
To: AIS Coordinators (DNR)
Subject: Zequanox testing in Wisconsin

I’d like to make you all aware of some exciting work that is being conducted by the USGS on the shores of Shawano Lake in Shawano County.

Before I go any further I want to stress that this is NOT in-lake work.

USGS is working to explore the effectiveness of a product call Zequanox on zebra mussels and effects on native mussels. Zequanox is a made using a common soil bacterium but has shown potential to kill zebra mussels in early tests. USGS will be delivering a portable laboratory to the shore of Shawano Lake on Tuesday (9/4). The laboratory will be set up to use water from Shawano Lake and zebra mussels that were collected and caged in the lake since last fall. The lake water will be pumped into the lab, mixed with zequanox and used to treat the zebra mussels. The water will be discharged to holding tanks associated with the lab—IT WILL NOT BE DISCHARGED BACK INTO SHAWANO LAKE. The label for zequanox says it CAN be discharged to surface waters but for this work it will be taken to a sewage treatment facility. The lab is scheduled to be on site until 9/9 and then moved.

Shawano County AIS Coordinator, Jon Motquin has worked to secure a location for the lab, and has contacted the media about the work that will be done. We are currently working on a joint news release with Shawano County, USGS and the Department. We anticipate a significant amount of public interest in this work.

We are all very interested in this work and want to make sure you are able to answer any questions you may get accurately. So here are the key points:

* Zequanox is made from a very common soil bacteria
* The tests will take place in a portable laboratory
* There will be NO in lake treatment as part of this research
* Lake water will be pumped into the portable lab, tests will be conducted and the discharge water will be held until it can be discharged to a sewage treatment plant. There will be NO discharge of zequanox into Shawano Lake
* The tests will examine the impact of zequanox on zebra mussels and native mussels
* The tests will take place between 9/4 – 9/9, 2012
* Tests will be conducted by researchers from the USGS
* In addition to the Shawano Lake location, tests will also be conducted on the shores of the Mississippi River at multiple locations
* It is not certain when the results will be available.

The joint news release will go out soon so you may see something in the media early next week.

The USGS researchers in LaCrosse Wisconsin are conducting this research. For those of you that attended the fall AIS Coordinators meeting last fall you may remember Mark Gaikowski. Mark is the lead reseracher for this work and a strong supporter of our AIS Partnership.