Zebra mussels are being muscled out of the Great Lakes

Although zebra mussels were once considered a menace for the Great Lakes, quagga mussels, which arrived a few years later, have out competed them in all but the shallowest areas of Lake Erie.

Quagga mussels now form 99.9 per cent of mussels in the lakes, says expert

Zebra mussels have been muscled out of the Great Lakes.

That's the opinion of Sasha Karatayev, a Great Lakes expert from Buffalo State University.

When the striped mussels first appeared in the area back in 1986 they were considered a menace, but according to Karatayev, they've been out-flexed by another invasive species — the quagga mussel.

"That is why in Great Lakes, almost everywhere quagga mussels form 99.9 per cent, pushing zebra mussels to very, very limited shallow areas," he explained. "The only place where zebra mussels still exist in a decent quantity is western basis of Lake Erie, because it's so shallow."

The quagga mussels are also less numerous now than they were 15 years ago, he added.

Karatayev is one of 125 scientists, resource managers and students attending the Lake Erie Millennium Network's Eight Binational Meeting at the University of Windsor this week.