Zebra Mussels – Helpful or harmful to toxic algae?

We are often asked what effect Zebra Mussels have on lakes, particularly Gull Lake.

A recent paper summarizing long-term research done at the Kellogg Biological Station, highlighted work done by Steve Hamilton and colleagues in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU on the relationship between Zebra Mussels and Microcystis, a blue-green algae. The zebra mussels feed on all algae which increases water clarity, but they regurgitate Microcystis, resulting in an increase in these potentially toxic algae. The long-term study also identified that the die-off Zebra Mussels in Gull Lake may have been caused by high water temperatures. You can read more here: