Quagga Mussel Monitoring, Management, and Eradication Planning

a group of Quagga Mussels on a rocka group of Quagga Mussels on a rock
Client: United Water Conservation District
Time Period: 2019-2022
Staff: David (Chip) Blankenhorn, Lindsey Garner, Hannah Donaghe​​​​​​​
Service lines: Conservation
Since their discovery in Lake Piru Reservoir in December 2013, Catalyst staff have supported United Water Conservation District in various aspects of quagga mussel monitoring, management, reporting, regulatory agency coordination, and, most recently, leading planning efforts for a potential quagga mussel eradication effort in Lake Piru Reservoir.
close up of a Quagga Musselclose up of a Quagga Mussel
Catalyst staff were engaged shortly after the discovery of quagga mussels in Lake Piru Reservoir in December 2013 and, since that time, have supported United in various aspects of their monitoring and management efforts including preparing  a Quagga Mussel Monitoring and Control Plan (QMMCP) and annual reports documenting the yearly quagga mussel monitoring, control, and management efforts. As part of these reports, Catalyst staff synthesize ongoing quagga mussel monitoring data, evaluate existing water quality data for Lake Piru Reservoir and lower Piru Creek to assess quagga mussel viability, and coordinate with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
people fishing for Quagga Musselspeople fishing for Quagga Mussels
In addition, Catalyst is currently leading the planning efforts for a proposed quagga mussel eradication in Lake Piru Reservoir using a copper-based molluscicide.  As the first step in the process, Catalyst is assisting United to obtain a Special Local Need (SLN) Registration from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). In support of the application, Catalyst conducted an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) to identify and assess potential risks associated with the proposed molluscicide under different application scenarios on state and federally protected non-target species known to occur in the project area. Catalyst also provided a technical appendix to the ERA on the science of copper toxicity to salmonids.
Boater Advisory sign warning about Quagga MusselsBoater Advisory sign warning about Quagga Mussels
Following SLN registration, the next step is to prepare a detailed molluscicide treatment plan for eradication implementation, which will serve as the project description for a subsequent CEQA review of the proposed project. If the eradication effort Is Implemented, then Catalyst will lead the efforts to obtain all required permits and authorizations from Federal, State, and Local agencies for eradication implementation. This would involve an interdisciplinary consultant team and coordinating with USEPA, USACE, CalEPA, CDPR, CDFW, and National Marine Fisheries Service on this first-of-its-kind project.

Invasive species management, environmental planning and permitting, and ecological risk assessment

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