2020 Zebra Mussels were discovered in Candlewood Lake for the first time. The Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) has expanded its existing monitoring program which includes divers, shoreline searches, water testing, and monitoring stations. Since the beginning of the deep drawdown, the CLA has begun searching for additional Zebra Mussels on the exposed shoreline. We also want to thank the many residents who conducted their own shoreline searches and sent us their results. We are keeping track of all of these searches on a map on our website. If you are interested in conducting your own search for zebra mussels and adding to the map, you can find all the instructions and information you need by clicking HERE.
Unfortunately as of this writing, 36 zebra mussels have been found in Candlewood Lake. Because of the physical distance between the mussels, using physical barriers like mats, or small localized chemical applications are not possible to control the mussels. However,
Zebra mussels cannot survive when exposed to the air for a long period of time -- especially in the cold air. So we are lucky that we have a deep drawdown this year. The CLA has begun having conversations with FirstLight to help ensure that we will get a deep and effective drawdown this year to freeze out as many of the mussels in the lake for as long as possible. While this certainly is not a guarantee that they will all be killed by the drawdown, it is the best lake-wide management tool we have in the fight against mussels that have entered the lake. In addition, we are working with the towns, local legislators, and DEEP to try to increase oversight and education for all invasive species, including zebra mussels, at all of the ramps on Candlewood.
Our Short Term Response:
• Working With FirstLight to ensure a long and deep drawdown this year.
• Continuing to search for mussels to understand the possible source(s) of the infestation.
• Scheduling spring time dives to search for and remove mussels potentially missed by the drawdown.
Our Long Term Response:
• Expanded water chemistry testing to understand viability and impact of invasive species in Candlewood Lake.
• Expanded coordination and cooperation with Towns, State, and FirstLight to increase protection of Candlewood at access points.
• Further-reaching educational materials and campaigns to stress the importance of invasive species prevention.
The distribution of the mussels in the lake indicates that there are likely multiple sources for the mussels to have entered Candlewood. Whether that's boats, docks, or other means is very difficult to decipher. We do know that they can survive in the lake, but are not forming large colonies yet. We are still investigating how well they are able to reproduce in Candlewood based on the water chemistry. If you'd like to submit your own search for zebra mussels, please visit our website: https://www.candlewoodlakeauthority.org/zebramussels for instructions. All the searching that has already been done is invaluable to us as we assess the current state of the mussel population in Candlewood.
36 Zebra Mussels have been spotted in Candlewood Lake so far. The best way to manage them lake-wide is a long & deep drawdown, and we are working with FirstLight to help ensure that. We are also working with the Towns and the State to increase oversight of all invasive species at the boat ramps. If you'd like to contribute your own search for zebra mussels on the shoreline to our map, click HERE.