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The last 30 years of mussel abundance in Lake Ontario

Goby densities viewed using dropdown camera

Drs. Karatayev, Burlakova and Mehler from Buffalo State’s Great Lakes Science Center teamed up with CBFS scientist Rudstam and Watkins, EPA scientist Wick and NOAA scientist Elgin to investigate dreissenid mussels in Lake Ontario.  Since 1990, eight lake-wide surveys of zebra and quagga mussels have been conducted on Lake Ontario. This data was combined with the 2018 CSMI survey conducted as part of the Cornell-Buffalo grant on the Great Lakes Biological Program.  Quagga mussels is the dominant benthic invertebrate, which replaced zebra mussels in Lake Ontario in the 1990s and has continued to increase lake-wide through 2018.  This is primarily due to increases in the offshore deep waters of the lake.  Clearly, the ecosystem effects of mussels continue to affect the lake. Goby densities were assessed with a dropdown camera.  There were some indication of goby predation reducing mussel recruitment. The paper “Dreissena in Lake Ontario 30 years post-invasion” in the Journal of Great Lakes Research is available on line for free download until Jan 27, 2021: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1cCh91MRgTf7sO