Researchers at Washington State University are preparing for a Northwest invasion of the zebra mussel - a small, distinctly striped and rather tenacious freshwater mollusk that can quickly encrust underwater surfaces. The mussels have caused significant damage in other parts of the country and pose an enormous risk to the hydroelectric infrastructure, recreational facilities and unique ecological system of the Columbia River Basin. The Columbia River Basin is one of the last major river systems in the U.S.still free of zebra mussels and the closely related quagga mussels; but possibly not for long. Once they are established in the water, they are almost impossible to eradicate.
* See our Washington state resource page for more information and additional resources.