Invasive mussels discovered in aquarium product
Zebra mussels that could significantly damage the ecology of Lake have been discovered in moss ball products for sale online and in pet stores across the U.S. and are being pulled from shelves, according to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA).
TRPA aquatic invasive species (AIS) managers have contacted pet stores in the Tahoe region and all stores share the concern and are voluntarily taking recommended steps, according to TRPA. The agency is coordinating with the western wide “Don’t Let It Loose” program by providing outreach materials and fish bags with imprinted info to pet stores in the Tahoe region.
Current information indicates the moss balls can be sold in packaging and can also be placed in tanks with fish for sale together. Buyers should beware of online moss ball sales as well. The discovery was made at a pet store in Washington, according to reports. Wildlife agencies in Nevada and California are also taking immediate steps statewide and in neighboring communities. The 2009 Lake Tahoe AIS Management Plan estimates that cumulative impacts from a mussel infestation could cost the region more than $20 million a year.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a webpage with more information, recommended disposal methods, and how to report sightings.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment.
Source: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
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