Mussel species replacement in Onondaga Lake

Lars Rudstam, Christopher Gandino (Onondaga County)

Although the funded work on Onondaga Lake is completed, we have continued sampling mussels annually in 2020, 21 and 22. In this lake, quagga mussels displaced zebra mussels within a few years, but more recently zebra mussels are again the dominant species. Interestingly, goby invasion led to a mussel decline and a return of zebra mussels as the most abundant of the two species; changes that were predicted from experiments at CBFS in 2013 and 2014.  This return to zebra mussels may or may not persist. We are following this dynamic species interaction for an additional three years to check if zebra mussels remain dominant over a longer time period.