Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
“Don’t Move a Mussel” Comes to Missouri
Midwest Region, March 4, 2009
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As fish biologists working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we get to routinely sample different bodies of water, from lakes to rivers and streams, in a three state area. Although this makes the job more exciting, we may be unintentionally bringing hitchhikers, namely exotic species, along for the ride.

Earlier this month Columbia NFWCO employee Brian Elkington attended a workshop to help make sure this does not happen.


The training, called “Don’t Move a Mussel” is a program that helps describe methods that can be used to reduce the risk of transferring exotic mussel species from one habitat to another through boat inspection and decontamination.

The training, hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation and originally put in place by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the 100th Meridian Initiative, allowed us to practice inspecting boats and learn about possible decontamination methods. 

These procedures ensure that all the adult and larval zebra mussels have been removed from the boat prior to its next launch.  Using the training I received there, we can be sure that Columbia NFWCO’s efforts to help aquatic ecosystems in the region is not also a disaster waiting to happen through the release of these exotic species.

Contact Info: Brian Elkington, (573) 445-5001 ext 25, Brian_Elkington@fws.gov
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