Zebra mussels have penetrated the Mississippi River system. Adults have not been found, but the velagers, minute free floating juveniles, have been detected in Lake Winnibigoshish. This means that somewhere in that vast water adults are reproducing happily. It also may mean these premier lakes at the head of the nations major waterway are doomed to infestation.
Originally from Europe and brought to the Twim Ports in the bilge of salt water boats, the small shelled creatures cover all underwater surface habitat in astronomic numbers. They actually clean the water of phyto and zooplankton, allowing light to penetrate much greater depth and stimilate weed growth. The fishing is impacted by the huge loss of forage for the rest of the underwater community. It is quite possible this pest was brought from St. Louis Bay to the Mississippi waterwhed. Currently this invasive species is expanding throughout the midwest. Thousand Islands, New York, on the St. Lawrence River, feels the creatures have cleansed their sewer like waters after more than a century of decay and delay.
Without constant caution these pests will spread throughout the waters. We will be a helping hand to destruction of our most valued resources unless we learn how to protect our natural environment. Once the shot is fired, once Humpty falls, there is no return to the pristine state before it happened.