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Ohio Sea Grant College Program
and Stone Laboratory

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Testing of Mechanical, Molluscicidal, Anti-Attachment, Antibiofouling Agents on the Zebra Mussel

Project Number: R/PS-008-PD, Completion Report

Start Date: 4/1/1990

Completion Date: 3/31/1991

Revision Date: 6/15/1999

Principal Investigator(s)1.Susan Fisher, College of Biological Sciences The Ohio State University*
This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *

Funding Record

Source: Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Source FundState MatchPass Through
Total$ 0.00$ 5,436.00$ 0.00


To establish the initial development of a zebra mussel testing center, the primary function of which (and justification for the zebra mussel testing center) is to evaluate and test materials proposed for use on the zebra mussel.


The Center will be uniquely qualified to carry out the objectives (listed above) because we have access to a wet lab and filed facilities, have personnel who are trained in aquatic toxicology and have the ability to develop a diverse battery of tests to simultaneously address the needs of industry and the requirements of EPA.


Specific functions of the proposed center include the following:
  1. To evaluate chemical devices and substrates proposed for use on the zebra mussel;
  2. To evaluate the efficacy of combinations of methods to meet the diverse needs of different user groups;
  3. To assist in the development of data to support registration of products when requested. These data include nontarget toxicity test, biodegradation and bioavailability studies;
  4. To serve as a liaison between Industry and EPA in developing data bases and protocols for standardized testing;
  5. To explore the use of unique and highly specific molluscistatic compounds which affect biochemical processes unique to the zebra mussel.

Benefits & Accomplishments

  • Developed methods for measuring toxicity of molluscicides to adult zebra mussels in static acute toxicity tests
  • Developed methods for evaluating effectiveness of antibiofouling paints in a filed setting
  • Discovered, by accident while doing this work, that K+ was toxic to the zebra mussel
  • Used data in support of a grant proposal which was later funded by pass-through US Fish and Wildlife Service for 5/1/91-9/30/95 and a second grant, supported by National Sea Grant on the use of potassium for zebra mussel control (R/ZM-11)


  1. Environmentally safe chemicals kill adult mussels in short periods of time at concentrations averaging 150 ppm.
  2. These chemicals are effective under a wide variety of environmental conditions.

Publications & Media

Peer-reviewed reprints
Peer-reviewed reprintsFisher, S.W. and D.O. Bernard. 1991, Methods for evaluating zebra mussel control products in laboratory and field studies
J. Shellfish Research. 10: 367-371. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-150.
Peer-reviewed reprintsFisher, S.W., P.C. Stromberg, K.A. Bruner and L.D. Boulet. 1991, Molluscicidal polymorpha, Toxicity and Mode of Action
Aquatic Toxicology. 20: 219-234. Made available by OHSU-RS-146.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summaries
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFisher, Susan W. 1991, Environmental safe methods of controlling the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha
National Association of Corrosion Engineers. March 1991. Cincinnati, OH.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFisher, Susan W. 1991, Testing molluscicides for control of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha
Zebra Mussels in Michigan Conference. January 1991. East Lansing, MI.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFisher, Susan W. 1991, Toxicity of potassium to nontarget organisms in zebra mussel control programs
International Association of Great Lakes Research. June 1991. Buffalo, NY.

Supported Students

StudentL. Denise Boulet (Graduate, Ph.D.)
The Ohio State University
Dissertation Title: The effect of environmental factors on the bioaccumulation of neutral, lipophilic organic compounds by the midge, Chironomus riparius