Paw Paw Lake (Coloma / Watervliet) – Zebra Mussel Invasion

November 25, 2017

For those who did not get outside today, it was actually quite pleasant. At Forrest beach (Paw Paw Lake, Watervliet side) it was in the mid 40’s, no wind and not even drizzling. The water was just a bit cool to the touch, still soft and with good clarity.

The lake bottom appears to have a thick silty sand build up everywhere with no patterns to indicate where it’s coming from. Did not notice any weeds but did come across very nice patches of green vegetation. The most notable finding and change from last year, other than the sand, was the number and quantity of zebra mussels.

On the bottom, if it’s not sand or vegetation it has a significant buildup of mussels. Everything from tires, boulders, tree parts, and even very small exposed parts of small rocks are all covered with a thick covering of mussels. Did not see any cray fish and the few clams I did locate were barely alive and all covered in mussels.

After hearing some motor noise nearby, I surfaced to see a fast moving speed boat whizzing by a dive flag. No chance to get numbers or name. So obviously boaters / fishermen are out and about.  Interesting how many inland boaters do not know the requirement to keep away from a divers flag.

Paw Paw Lake – Forrest Beach Area – Watervliet, MI

 

Typical freshwater clam being killed by Zebra mussel.

Small clump of Zebra mussels. There are over 60 individual mussels in this clump.

When separated from the clump, this is what they look like.

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