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Enhanced monitoring and investigation of the spread and potential impact of aquatic invasive mussels in the Columbia River Basin

Principal Investigators: Stephen Bollens, Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens, Tim Counihan (USGS)
Student: Whitney Hassett
Funded by: Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)
Award period: 2012-2015

Project Summary:

One of the technical priorities for BPA is to adequately maintain and update the hydropower equipment in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS).  A major challenge to the effective operation of the FRCPS is the presence and colonization of aquatic invasive species (AIS) that can potentially reduce efficiency and require significant and costly mitigation efforts.  The Columbia River Basin (CRB) covers an area the size of France that includes portions of seven states and British Columbia.  Developing programs to prevent new introductions of AIS, assess risk, quickly detect new arrivals and control their spread is complicated by the sheer size of the basin and the number of jurisdictions.  Zebra and quagga mussels have recently invaded many western water bodies, causing extensive economic and environmental damage.  However, the CRB has yet to be invaded by these highly destructive species. Research is required to develop methods for preventing the mussels’ spread, to allow early detection, and to define strategies for controlling and managing hydroelectric, irrigation and urban water facilities, if the mussels are introduced to the CRB.

Project Goals

In this project we expanded upon existing efforts by Washington State University (WSU) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to achieve the following goals:

1) Enhance an integrated AIS monitoring and information system, originally developed by the USGS and WSU in collaboration with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC).

2) Enhance and further coordinate existing early detection efforts, through development and implementation of new technologies for visualization and detection (FlowCam and eDNA).

3) Provide a Geographic Information System (GIS) layer describing all of the river access points on the mainstem Columbia and Snake Rivers and major tributaries, and research and report our current understanding of the relative use of these river access points.

4) Conduct research that will help to assess the cause and effects of biological invasions in the CRB.

5) Provide opportunities to train young professionals in assessing the effects of AIS on CRB food webs.

 

Publications/Presentations resulting from this project:

Hassett* W, Bollens S, Counihan T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Katz S, Emerson J.  (2017)  Veligers of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula fluminea in the Columbia River Basin: Broadscale distribution, abundance and ecological associations.  Lake and Reservoir Management 33: 234-248.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Counihan T, Parker B.  Dreissenid mussel early detection monitoring in the Columbia River Basin.  100th Meridian Initiative Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.  November 2017.

Sandison° C, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bolam B, Bollens S.  The spread and potential impact of aquatic invasive bivalves in the Columbia River Basin: What is the feeding rate of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea?   Murdock Charitable Trust “Partners in Science” Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.  January 2017.

Sandison° C, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Bollens S.  The spread and potential impact of aquatic invasive bivalves in the Columbia River Basin.  Murdock Charitable Trust “Partners in Science” Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.  January 2016.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Goldberg C, Counihan T, Hardiman J.  Aquatic invasive species in the Columbia River Basin: From A (Arthropods) to Z (Zebra/Quagga Mussels). Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Portland, OR.  December 2015.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Goldberg C, Counihan T, Hardiman J.  Invasive mussel monitoring in the Columbia River Basin – past, present, and future. Washington State Lakes Protection Association Annual Conference, Walla Walla, WA.  October 2015.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Goldberg C, Counihan T, Hardiman J.  Aquatic invasive species in the Columbia River Basin: From A (Arthropods) to Z (Zebra/Quagga Mussels). Oregon Invasive Species Council, Portland, OR.  October 2015.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Goldberg C, Counihan T, Hardiman J.  Aquatic invasive species in the Columbia River Basin: From A (Arthropods) to Z (Zebra/Quagga Mussels). Washington Invasive Species Council, Wenatchee, WA.  September 2015.

Hassett* W, Bollens S, Counihan T, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J, Emerson J.  Broadscale distribution, ecological associations, and potential impacts of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula fluminea in the Columbia River Basin.  Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD. August 2015.

Hassett* W, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Counihan T, Zimmerman J, Emerson J.  Broadscale distribution, ecological associations, and potential impacts of the invasive Asian clam Corbicula fluminea in the Columbia River Basin.  Pacific Estuarine Research Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.  March 2015.

Newman° T, Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Zimmerman J.  Aquatic invasive species and diatoms: assessment in two contrasting environments using the FlowCAM.  Murdock Charitable Trust “Partners in Science” Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.  January 2015.

Bollens S, Rollwagen-Bollens G, Counihan T, Hardiman J, Zimmerman J, Hassett W, Emerson J.  Invasive Mussel Monitoring in the Columbia River Basin — Past, Present, and Future.  Oregon Lakes Association Annual Meeting, Astoria, OR.  October 2014.