New findings: zebra mussels, Asian carp, Phragmites, and more
Researchers at MAISRC wrapped up six projects in the fall of 2019. Outcomes include:
- The distribution of invasive Phragmites was mapped in Minnesota for the first time, and researchers investigated its spread potential and developed strategies for coordinated response. An identification guide, map of occurrences, and region-specific management recommendations were created. The management recommendations includes specific response options, cost estimates, training needs, and more. Learn more here.
- Survey designs for estimating zebra mussel density in newly infested lakes were evaluated and specific recommendations were made based on differing lake populations. A training video, data collection worksheets, and an analysis tutorial were made available online. Learn more here.
- Several microorganisms were isolated that could be pathogenic to zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil. This project also found that Eurasian watermilfoil is associated with elevated concentrations of E. coli and human pathogens. Two papers have been published. Learn more here.
- Updates were made to a Computational Fluid Dynamics Agent-Based fish passage model to better incorporate field data. This model will help block invasive Asian carp from moving up the Mississippi River by utilizing locks and dams, while still allowing native fish to swim upstream. One paper has been published. Learn more here.
- A complex model that takes into account water connectivity and boater movement to predict zebra mussel and Eurasian watermilfoil invasion patterns was created. Using the model, county-based recommendations to prioritize and optimize the location of watercraft inspectors were made. The model was piloted with Crow Wing, Ramsey, and Stearns Counties. Data from the first phase of this project is available here. Learn more about the second phase of research here.
- Incorporating previous research into food and pheromone cues, eDNA, and light, sound, and air barriers, the first invasive carp deterrent system at a lock and dam in the U.S. is now installed in southern Minnesota. Lab tests have shown 97% prevention. Several papers have been published. Learn more here.