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California Heartland

Episode 901 - Invading Our Waters  

Invading Our Waters
Invading Our Waters
Invading Our Waters

Two of California’s most important resources – irrigated agriculture and drinking water are facing a major threat by a new invasive species – the Quagga mussel. Zebra mussels and its relative, the Quagga are the size of a thumbnail, non-native, and have already been detected in California waters.

They spread rapidly by attaching themselves to boat surfaces. Once in a body of water, the mussels go to work multiplying and when that infected water travels through any delivery system they form clumping mounds which clog pipes, sprinkler heads and breaks pumps. This can leave crops without water and utilities needing to spend additional funds toward cleaning their equipment.

Among the prime targets for the mussel is California’s largest body of fresh water - Clear Lake with 160 miles of shoreline.

California Heartland’s Melanie Kim travels to Clear Lake to learn more about the Quagga. She talks with Lake County’s Deputy Director of Water Resources, Pam Francis and Alexia Retallack from the Department of Fish and Game. 

Melanie also meets DFG Warden and K9 handler Lynette Shimek, who shows off her dogs trained to sniff out the pesky mussels. Tune in to see how they are educating the public about invasive mussels and what you can do to help.

Additional Info:
California Department of Fish and Game:

Lake County California:


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