Water filtering made easy
 Student involvement at UF
 Water filtering made easy...
 UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management...
 Safety protocols for aquacultu...
 Fish handling and transport
 Florida's sunshine bass
 Zebra mussel alert

Group Title: Waterworks
Title: Waterworks. Volume 4, Number 2. 2000.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067314/00005
 Material Information
Title: Waterworks. Volume 4, Number 2. 2000.
Uniform Title: Waterworks
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: 2000
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067314
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Table of Contents
    Water filtering made easy
        Page 1
    Student involvement at UF
        Page 2
    Water filtering made easy continued
        Page 3
    UF/IFAS aquaculture and pond management update
        Page 4
    Safety protocols for aquaculture
        Page 5
    Fish handling and transport
        Page 6
    Florida's sunshine bass
        Page 7
    Zebra mussel alert
        Page 8
Full Text

University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Volume 4 Number 2 2000

See page 7for more in-depth information
concerning these workshops, courses and seminars.

April 4 5
Fish Health Management Workshop
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory/Ruskin, FL
Roy Yanong 813/671-5230

April 7
Fourth Annual Clam Industry Meeting
UF TREEO Center/Gainesville, FL
Leslie Sturmer 352/543-5057

April 19
Baitfish Aquaculture Workshop
Indian River Research & Education Center/Ft. Pierce, FL
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184

May 6
Lake, Pond and Stream Day
University of South Florida/Tampa, FL
John Brenneman 941/533-0765

May 15-18
Aquatic Weed Control Short Course
Ft. Lauderdale Research Center/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Vernon VanDiver 352/392-9612





Filtering and cleaning
water is a daily necessity for
anyone involved in the
water recirculating or
aquaculture and aquarium
One UF graduate who
has taken the problem to
heart is Mark Robertson of
Gainesville. Hisisasuccess
story that began over a
plate of chicken wings.
As a graduate student
back in the 1980s, Mark
often sat with faculty
members each Wednesday
night at a local restaurant
and, over platters of
chicken wings, discussed
fishery issues.
One night, someone
tossed a few aquarium
magazines on the table,
and voiced some critical
comments about filtering
equipment shown in the

Mark swore he could
build a betterwaterfiltering
system in his own home.
He did! His fluidized sand
filter, which he needed for
raising a special species of
frog, was soon finished. His
filter allowed microscopic
algae particles to circulate in
the water as tadpole food,
while still cleaning the water
of unwanted wastes such
as ammonia.
On a suggestion from
one of the Department's
faculty members, Mark
advertised his new style of
filter in an aquarium
magazine. Much to his

surprise, he had orders for
40,000 units that first
But building millions of
dollars worth ofwaterfilters
was not the reason Mark
had become a biologist,
with a background in engi-
neering. The headaches of
a manufacturing business
was not his calling. So, he
licensed out the business
and went back to tinkering
Continued on page 3.

Institute of Food and Agricultural Science

The following UF/IFAS
faculty and staff are
available to answer
questions and
provide technical
support relating to
aquaculture, pond
management, fisheries,
and aquatic sciences.
Feel free to contact
them with your

Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences
Frank Chapman
Reproductive Biology
352/392-9617 ext. 247
Chuck Cichra
Pond Management &
352/392-9617 ext. 249
Ruth Francis Floyd
Fish Health/Aquaculture
352/392-9617 ext. 229
rff@g nv.ifas.ufl.edu
Ruth Ellen Bowen
Fish Health
352/392-9617 ext. 230

Sam Mitchell
Andy Lazur
Food & BaitAquaculture
Debbie Britt Pouder
Food & BaitAquaculture

Craig Watson
Research Coordinator
Roy Yanong
Fish Health/Aquaculture

Eric Curtis
Fish Health

Center for Aquatic
& Invasive Plants

Ken Langeland
Aquatic Plants

Food & Resource

Chuck Adams
Marine Economics
352/392-1826 ext. 223

David Zimet
Freshwater Economics
djz@gnv.ifas.ufl.ed u

Agricultural &

Ray Bucklin
Mariculture Engineering

County Extension

Max Griggs
Escambia County
Leslie Sturmer
Shellfish aquaculture
Chris Brooks
Dade County
305-248-3311 ext. 230
Don Sweat
Pasco County
John Brenneman
Polk/Hillsborough Counties
Bill Mahan
Franklin County

Undergradate and graduate students are an important part of the teach-
ing, research, and extension programs at the University of Florida.
Involvement of individual students in these programs is highlighted
in each issue of WaterWorks.

If you happen to see
someone tossing a
large metal box into
shallow waters off
Florida's west coast,
you needn't looktwice.
It's graduate student
Tom Glancy with a throw
trap collecting and
counting species diver-
sity and densities found
within three of the most
productive, estuarine
habitats on the Gulf
Coast: seagrass beds,
oyster reefs, and
marsh edge habitats.
Underthe guidance of
UF's Dr. Chuck Cichra,
Glancy's graduate work
began as a blue crab
count and gear efficiency
test. However, the project
soon transformed into a
fish and invertebrate
community study.
While the heavy
throw trap box proved
to be effective at count-
ing crabs, it also turned
out to be an efficient
way to collect data on
other aquatic animals.
Glancy has now
found and identified
many other commer-
cially, recreationally or
ecologically important
species within the three
chosen habitats includ-
ing stone crabs, various
shrimp, spotted seatrout,
black drum, sheeps-
head, and redfish. This
underscores the fact
that 75 percent of
commercial fish and
shellfish species in
U.S. waters depend on
estuaries at some point
in their life history. All
are important to the

reef orseagrass commu-
nity they inhabit.
So far, he's counted
59 species of aquatic
animals using the throw
trap and another
sampling tool he is test-
ing, the sweep net.
Which habitat has the
highest species diversity?
Seagrasses have been
the most productive,
followed by clumps of dead
oyster rubble adjacent to
oyster reefs. Surrounding
spartina or salt grasses
that flood during high tide
were ranked third.
Sampling clumps of
oyster rubble with the
throw trap was necessary
because live oyster reef
is especially difficult to
sample without damag-
ing the reef.
The oyster clump
contents collected from
the throw trap were
transported to the
laboratory at the Depart-
ment of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences in
Gainesville, and carefully
counted and identified.

Information gained
from Glancy's throw
trap efforts have dove-
tailed nicely with Dr.
Tom Frazer's juvenile
crab sampling data
from the pasttwo years,
off Florida's Crystal
and Suwannee Rivers.
The two data sets
combined provided
excellent quantitative
data on density and
biomass of all animals
in estuarine habitats.
Glancy and Dr. Frazer
recently presented
their work at the Blue
Crab Symposium 2000
in Wilmington, North
However, the fun
has only just begun.
Glancy and crew still
have 245 trap sets
(square meters of
bottom material) to
poke through, identify
and sort during each
season this year.


Water Filtering

Made Easy
(continued from page 1)

with water filters.
Today, his third water filter patent is pending
and he is doing water filtration consultant work
as far away as Africa. Water filtration is an
important field and a growth industry, as the
world's population climbs and clean water
sources dwindle. "From Johnny's 10-gallon
aquarium to commercial sites, they all have
a need or responsibility to clean their water
after using it. Industries involved with cleaning
water include city waste water treatment,
bioremediation, aquaculture and the aquarium
trade," Robertson says. "Look at aquaculture
and their use of water.
"It's the closed systems we keep working
on, to clean the water after using it." Robertson
is a fan of big public water treatment shows,
and says they should be a boon forthe aquac-
ulture crowd. People from around the world
attend these shows, which are held everyyear
or two. An event in Las Vegas had 750,000 in
attendance, with a lot of sophisticated
equipment on display, much of it from other
In the meantime, Robertson has grown
conceded about the overwhelming amount
of information on the Intemet He explains,
"Sure, there is a lot of information out there,
but how do you find what you need?"
To remedy this, he's created his own free
web site, dedicated to information on water
filtration from around the world. Publications
are listed by topic, along with the
names of each author and/or
'.\ \Hissiteaverages
between 2,000
and 2,500 visits
daily. The web
site is called
and should
make for some
-~. interesting
reading forany-
S' one dealing
with cleaning
It's amazing
what can be
- accomplished
"' over a plate of
chicken wings.


Aquatic Visitors of the
Gelatinous Kind
Several lakeshore residents have
recently contacted the Department of
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (with
some worry) about an unknown organ-
ism in their lake or pond.
Is it another new and exotic species?
In each instance, the answer was no.
Instead, the suspicious "growths" were
local populations of bryozoa, of which a
number of species are found globally.
A little background information:
Bryozoans are large colonies of
invertebrate animals. The colonies often
consist of thousands of individuals cover-
ing an area of several square feet. This
gelatinous species may even become as
large as a grapefruit or even a watermelon.
Ideal habitats are quiet ponds, backwaters,
bays and slow streams- especially where
there are sunken logs, twigs, rocks or
aquatic plants.
Bryozoa are more commonly seen in
saltwater environments, but about 40 fresh
waterspecies have been named,with about
14 species reported in the United States.
Although they are common in stagnant
water, bryozoans are never found under
polluted conditions, and only sparingly
occur where dissolved oxygen falls
below 30 percent saturation.
However, they can occasionally become
problematic. Summer events of large, float-
ing gelatinous colonies of bryozoa
(T,. ..i ii, r,. ,,, ',. ,i, ,., can clog the screens
of water intakes and the grates of hydro-
electric plants so effectively, that it requires
a full-time employee to keep them clear.

Printing costs for this issue of
WaterWorks were paid for by the
University of Florida's Center for
Natural Resources.

Bryozoa shun bright light, thus the problem
with water pipes and closed conduits. Most
species attach to the underside of rocks,
logs, vegetation and boards. In dim light of
deeper water, they can prosper on the
upper side of objects as well.
Most bryozoans are collected from
water less than one meter deep. Some
species, however, have been found nearly
130 feet deep. Most Florida species peak
in summer with a fairly rapid growth rate,
and then begin dying off in winter when
water temperatures drop.
Bryozoans can be quite hardy and travel
from one lake to another. There are records
of statoblasts (resting eggs) occurring in
mud on the feet of waterfowl.
Some species are capable of passing
through the digestive system of waterfowl,
turtles, and salamanders. Since they are
adapted to travel, there is no need to panic
when this organism appears in your lake
or aquaculture pond. The process is
natural, unavoidable and probably cyclical.



Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
WaterWorks is published by the UF/
IFAS Department of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences. Subscriptions are
free, available upon request. See page
8 for a subscription form.
Editor Joe Richard
352/392-9617 ext 290
Faculty Advisor Chuck Cichra
352/392-9617 ext 249

U IAS Aqalcltr

andPon Maagmen Upat

Cedar Key

Economic Impacts of
Florida's Clam
The University of Florida
is planning to conduct
an assessment of the
contribution the hard
clam industry is making
to the state's economy.
Dockside sales have
increased from $40,000
in 1987 to $12.7 million
in 1997, according to the
Florida Agricultural
Statistics Service. How-
everthese dollar amounts
shortchange the actual
contribution the industry
makesto local and regional
economies in Florida. For
example, the industry
also provides local
employment to clam
farmers, seafood whole-
salers, distributors and
related businesses.
Suppliers of clam bags,
harvest and processing
equipment, and related

materials benefit Florida's
economy directly.
Retail seafood and
restaurant establish-
ments also are supported
through sales of clams to
customers. Given that
most of the cultured
clams are shipped out of
the harvest area, a lot of
new dollars are brought
into the local economy.
Thus, the economic foot-
print that cultured hard
clams make on the
Florida economy is likely
to be much bigger than
often-quoted dockside
sales figures.
Wholesalers of cultured
hard clams will soon be
contacted by mail or
phone by the UF Food and
Resource Economics
Department to gather
information on the 1999
season. Information such
as clam sales, percentage
of harvest shipped out of
the region and state, and
wholesale markup, will be
requested from participat-
ing firms.
The economic impact of

the clam culture industry
will be determined by
using the IMPLAN model,
a tried-and-true method
for assessing how the
sales of seafood, such as
cultured clams, is multi-
plied throughout various
Results from this study
will be useful in providing
a more accurate measure-
ment of the contribution
that clam aquaculture is
making to Florida's
economy. This will allow
state resource managers
and local decision-mak-
ers to make more in-
formed regulatory and
economic development
They will also be able
to understand the trade-
offs associated with future
changes in water quality
conditions in areas where
clam farming exists or
has the potential to
become established.

Leslie Sturmer

Kids Fishing Event
The Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) and
the University of Florida's
Sam Mitchell Aquaculture
Demonstration Farm are
working together to
accommodate 400 young-
sters for a Kids Fishing
Day on April 1.
FWC fisheries biologist
Bill Pouder said kids 15
years of age and
younger can participate,
but they must be prereg-
istered by a parent or
guardian by calling the
Commission's Panama
City office beginning
March 20.
Pouder said that a
total of 200 kids will be
allowed to fish in the
morning from 9 -11 a.m.
and another 200 kids
from 1-3 p.m.

Channel catfish have
been stocked in the ponds
and each child that fishes
will be allowed to take
home five fish. Families
should bring along coolers
with enough ice to pre-
serve their catch. Anglers
will need a rod-and-reel
and whatever type of bait
they want to use, Pouder
Recommended baits
are frozen shrimp, chicken
livers and live worms. He
said a parent or guardian
must be present at all times
and they can be respon-
sible for no more than two
youngsters at a time. As a
safety precaution, no one
will be allowed to fish with
multiple hooks, such as
treble hooks.
The UF Sam Mitchell
Aquaculture Demonstra-
tion Farm is located about
eight miles north of Blount-
stown, on State Road 69.
For more information,

Bill Pouder

News from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Safety Protocols for Aquaculture

One problem with
the aquaculture indus-
try is that it creates
opportunities for
diseases to be carried
from one location to
another. Plans to mini-
mize such outbreaks
requires making ship-
ments declared free of
significant diseases,
through accredited vet-
erinarian and state
Several months ago,
before the new Division
of Aquaculture was
formed (within the
Department of Agricul-
ture and Consumer
Services or DACS),
two state diagnostic
labs set out to acquire
certification from the
USDA to evaluate
samples from clams,
farm-raised shrimp,
and catfish that were
destined for interstate
The goalwasto gain
certification for ad-
dressing problems of
highest priority. As the
industry grows, DACS'
protocol will expand to
include more disease
detection. They are cur-
rently certified to evalu-
* Catfish forEadwcsiella
ictaluri (at the Live
Oak and Kissimmee
* Various shrimp
virus diseases,

* Clams for the
presence of Perknsus
Shrimp and clam
evaluations are currently
done at the Kissimmee
lab only. The number of
species involved is
currently a short list.
Diseases chosen were
those of the highest
concern, but the lab
bureau is growing and
services to the aquacul-
ture industry are also
Lab certification is
handled through a federal
agency. That agency
requires all lab submis-
sions be routed through
an accredited veterinarian.
(Laboratoriesbeing sent
samples would appreci-
ate a phone call a day
or two in advance.)
Catfish specimens
will consist of pooled
samples of kidney and
spleen in sterile contain-
ers, each container rep-
resenting a group often
fish. These organs will be
shipped to the Live Oak
or Kissimmee labs in
chilled state (not frozen).
Total sample size
depends on the lot size
and is depicted graphi-
cally in the protocol.
Choose a day and cou-
rier which will allow the
labs to receive the
sample and begin the
evaluation within 24
hours of collection. Both

labs are closed Saturday
and Sunday.
Clam diseases of any
significance are few.
Perkinosis was chosen
because of environmental
concerns that this particular
disease poses to oysters
(currently a major problem
on the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts). The intent is to
prevent exporting the
disease into areas which
may be currently under
disease reduction efforts.
As with all aquaculture
samples submitted, total
sample size depends on

the lot size being shipped.
The total sample is
divided into groups of ten
and submitted live to the
Kissimmee lab. Include
one additional group often
for bacteriological culture.
Farmers are advised
to choose a means of
transport which will allow
the clams to arrive alive
and be examined no
more than 5-6 hours
after collection. Consider
the time of day, also.
There is difficulty in deal-
ing with samples that
arrive after 3 PM.



i i.; jI

Shrimp submissions
require that half the
sample be shipped live,
the other half fixed in
Davidson's fixative.
The formulation ofthis
fixative is simple and
spelled out in the proto-
col. Those using this fixa-
tive are cautioned to
wear rubber gloves and
eye protection when
mixing and using it. On
an individual basis, the
Kissimmee lab would be
glad to furnish the veteri-
narians with this fixative,
but it must be picked up
in person.
Granted, some of
these protocols may
encompass tasks not
commonly used in the
past. As with any change
of procedure, there will
be a period of adjust-
ment. This applies to
producers, veterinarians,
and lab staff. The ulti-
mate goal is that Florida
products will be viewed
as safe and reliable.
Copies of the entire
protocol are available to
accredited veterinarians.
Call: 407/846-5200.

For more information,

Mike Slayter
Florida Department
of Agriculture and
Consumer Services

By Michael McGee, Chuck Cichra, and Jeffrey Hill

Whenever fish are stressed during
handling or transport they be-
come vulnerable to injury and
disease. Fish farmers know that fish will
often "break down" from being poorly
handled and for this reason, proper care
during harvest and transport is important.
Although most fish farms have established
procedures for handling fish, it pays to
remain aware of what situations can later lead
to fish disease outbreaks and mortality.
Causes of Stress
Fish crowded in a trap, net, or hauling
box can rapidly deplete the oxygen supply
in a localized area. In warm water, oxygen
is less soluble and fish respiration is higher.
Sublethal oxygen stress often leads to later
disease outbreaks.
Fish that get scraped or bruised during
handling can lose their protective slime coat-
ing, thereby reducing their natural defense
against pathogens (bacteria, fungi, and vi-
ruses). Abrasions or loss of scales are even
more dramatic invitations to infection or
direct mortality due to injury.
Sudden water temperature changes are
a well-known cause of fish stress. Try to
avoid direct water temperature changes of
greater than 5 degrees Fahrenheit when
moving fish from one environment to
another. If large differences in water tem-
peratures exist, then gradual tempering to
acclimate them is important. Fish can be
acclimated to a 10-degree change in about
20 minutes by slowly mixing waters to
equalize temperature.
A sudden pH shock may also be harm-
ful, especiallyto young fish. Within the range
of pH 6 to 9, a pH shift of less than 2 units
can be tolerated by most fish. As with tem-
perature, water can be mixed to gradually
acclimate fish to pH differences.
When possible, it is betterto harvest and move
fish during the cooler parts ofthe day (and year),
and avoid long exposure to strong sunlight.Avoid
leaving fish in the sun if they are in small
containers, as the water will warm quickly.
Useful techniques to reduce stress
Aeration and pure oxygen supplied to haul-
ing tanks can help prevent oxygen stress and
allow more fish to be safely transported. Water
in hauling tanks should be kept cool and clean.
Some medications may be added to the

waterto reduce risks of infection. Salt at 0.5% [5000
ppm (mg/1)] is sometimes added to increase the
tolerance of fish to handling.
Small fish are usually more sensitive to handling
and environmental stress than larger ones. For
this reason, special precautions should be taken
when transporting or stocking fry.
Fish harvested from ponds and moved to
indoor holding tanks often carry parasites and
disease organisms with them. As a result of the
stress of handling and crowding offish into vats,
the fish's resistance is lowered and a disease
outbreak may occur. As a preventative measure,
fish are often given a prophylactic treatment
shortly after they have been brought in.
Common treatments include a 2-hour bath of
potassium permanganate at 3 ppm (mg/1), or a
1-hour formalin bath at 50 -100 ppm (mg/l).
Alternately, short-term dips (30 60 seconds)
may be used (e.g., salt at 3 % or 30,000 ppm or
potassium permanganate at 500 ppm). These
treatments will eliminate most external parasites.
However, when using treatments for the first
time, it is important to be certain the dosage is
not too stressful to fish.

If a bacterial disease is anticipated,
bath treatments with antibiotics for 4 to
8 hours can be used. Most antibiotics
are not approved for use on fish -
contact the Florida Department ofAgri-
culture and Consumer Services for
more information. Occasionally, as a
result of severe stress during harvest
or transport, fish will become sick and
not respond to treatment. If this appears
to be the case, the best solution often
is to return the fish to the pond. Some-
times, although losses will occur, many
fish will recover in the pond.
Experience and observations are the
best teachers when learning how to
avoid stressing fish during handling and
transport. Since the outcome of poor
handling is generally sick or dying fish,
it doesn't make sense to take chances.
Establish and follow a set of procedures
that minimize stress and risk of injury
to fish when they are handled. Use
appropriate preventative treatments to
ward off disease outbreaks before they
occur. Look for patterns in the type and
extent of diseases that occur, compared
with the type of handling the fish have
received and under what conditions.
These guidelines should help prevent
unnecessary losses for fish farmers.

Fish a Tr nsport

Florida's Sunshine Bass

hat do you get when you cross a
female white bass with a male
striped bass?
Answer: The sunshine bass, a fish with
multiple possibilities for pond-raised
revenue, much like the channel catfish.
According to the Southern Regional
Aquaculture Center (SRAC), the sunshine
bass "has become a highly desirable sub-
stitute forthe declining striped bass seafood
industry." At the same time, the sunshine
has become quite attractive to recreational
anglers as well, a good fighter that attacks
artificial baits. Sunshines also have a mild
taste and firm texture.
Aquaculturists have found these hybrids
well-suited to pond culture. Fry are raised in
ponds, and grow to market size in 15 to 18
months. Most are commercially harvested at

1.5 to 2.5 pounds and up to two years of age.
Sunshines grow to about 15 pounds, and their
normal life span is a short five to six years. The
highest reported weight has been 22 pounds.
Sunshine bass do well in a variety of water
bodies, especially moving steams, lakes, ponds
and reservoirs-almost anywhere except
extremely shallow water or ponds filled with
plants. Small sunshine bass eat aquatic inver-
tebrates such as insects and grass shrimp.
They switch to a diet of fish while still quite
young, ifsuitable baitfish are present. They can
also be trained to eat pelleted fish feed. Their
growth rate in production ponds is determined
by water temperature, quality and quantity of
food, palatability of food, frequency of feeding
and water quality.
The sunshine bass has good potential, both
as a commercial food species, and as a

recreational item for put-and-take or
catch-and-release fishing. For more

+ Print a copy of SRAC Publication
#300 (Southern Regional Aquaculture
Center) from their web site -

+ Contact your Florida County Cooperative
Extension Office for a list of fingerling
suppliers or print out a list from the web:

Calendar of Events

April 4-5
Fish Health Management Workshop
TropicalAquaculture Laboratory/Ruskin, FL
Offered approximately twice a year,
this two-day workshop is designed for
fish farmers, biologists and veterinarians.
Topics to be covered, from 8:30 a.m.
to 4:30 p.m. each day, include an intro-
duction to fish health management,
including a review of water quality, an
overview of common parasitic, bacterial
and viral diseases, and treatment/
management options. Wet labs during
the workshop will provide hands-on
experience on water quality testing,
necropsy procedures and parasite
identification. Contact:
Roy Yanong 813/671-5230

April 7
Florida Hard Clam Industry Meeting
UF TREEO Center/ Gainesville, FL
The fourth annual meeting ofthis group
will be held at the UF TREEO Center off
Tower Road (SW 75th Street) in west
Gainesville, starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by
UF's Aquatic Food Products Lab, this is
an opportunity for all industry participants
to discuss programs for regulation, prod-
uct quality, and marketing. It's also a
chance to share concerns and plans for
future hard clam commerce in Florida.

All growers, harvesters, shellfish whole-
salers and retailers are encouraged to
attend. Representatives from all regulatory,
research and marketing programs are
invited to lend their expertise and advice and
assist the commercial interests.
Keynote speaker will be Don Bishop,
founder of Fukui North America out of
Ontario, Canada, with over 20 years of ex-
perience in shellfish distribution. Don will
bring a global perspective on marketing,
packaging and quality trends in the shell-
fish aquaculture industry. Registration is
free, but participants must preregister
before April 4. Lunch is $10.
Leslie Sturmer

April 19
Baitfish Aquaculture
Indian River Research & Education Center
Fort Pierce, FL
Overview of baitfish culture, marketing,
and economics. Speakers will be from UF's
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sci-
ences, UF's Food and Resource Econom-
ics Department, and the Florida Department
of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division ofAquaculture. Contact:
Debbie Britt Pouder 850/674-3184
St. Lucie County 561/462-1660

May 6
Lake, Pond and Stream Day
University of South Florida/Tampa, FL
LAKEWATCH staff will have aquatic
plant specimens available, as well as
frozen specimens of common Florida
fish, to help people become familiarwith
them. State and environmental groups
will have exhibits. Desirable aquatic
plants will be given away to those
interested in aquascaping. Free use of
canoes will be available (with a possible
race). Lunch will be on the water, and a
kid's fishing derby is scheduled.
John Brenneman 941/533-0765

May 15-18
Aquatic Weed Control Short Course 2000
Fort Lauderdale Research Center/
Fort Lauderdale, FL
This is a four-day course covering
many aspects of aquatic weed control,
upland and invasive weed control,
aquatic plant culture and revegetation.
Earn up to 24 Continuing Education
Units in aquatic, right-of-way, CORE,
and many other categories toward
renewal of commercial, public and
private pesticide applicator licenses.
Vernon VanDiver 954/475-8990

The Invaders

Zebra Mussel Alert

Florida residents are reminded to be on
the lookout for zebra mussels, which repre-
sent a threat to water interests in the Sun-
shine State. These small, striped bivalves now
cause billions of dollars of damage annually
in northem states. Biologists say it's inevitable
that zebra mussels will invade Florida
waters it's just a question of when.
Introduced to the Great Lakes from East
European ship ballast water in the mid-
1980s, zebra mussels can encrust anything
that is hard enough for them to grow on -
outboard motors, docks, water pipes,
pumps, condenserscreens, flooded timber,
native clams and crayfish, even boat hulls.
Adult zebra mussels can even grow
inside cooling systems of outboard motors,
if water temperatures don't exceed 110
degrees F Barge traffic, in the Mississippi
and Ohio Rivers has spread the problem
quickly. The nearest confirmed infestation
to Florida is north Alabama.
A female zebra mussel can produce
hundreds of thousands of eggs in a repro-
ductive season. The offspring, called
veligers, move little but are almost nearly
impossible to see. They can live for three
days out of water, which means that a dry
boat trailer or boat can carry them around,
as can fishing tackle or reused live bait. In
equipment with puddled water, such as bait

While zebra mussels were named Jor their
stripes, they can sometimes appear brown.
buckets, live wells, bilge water and scuba
gear, they can survive for seven days. Even a
wading heron or migratory duck can spread the
veligers from lake to lake, especially during
mussel spawning season, normally in March.
Biologists predict that a boat trailered down
from northern states will eventually be the cause
of the first infestation in Florida waters. One
tackle shop owner in Lake County brought
some zebra mussels down from New Yorktwo
years ago because they filter water, making it
clearer, and he thought they'd be pretty in his
aquarium. Theywere spotted by a biologist and
promptly destroyed.
A study made by the Mote Marine Lab dem-
onstrated that the limestone-rich waters of
Florida are ideal for mussel and shell growth,
especially in freshwater springs and Lake

P ---------------------------


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Editor/ WaterWorks
University of Florida
Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
PO Box 110600
Gainesville, FL 32611-0600
Phone: 352/392-9617 ext. 290 Fax: 352/846-1088
E-mail: fishweb@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu

Okeechobee. While they may be efficient
at filtering phytoplankton (algae) from
water, this means less food for native species
and a disruption ofthe entire aquaticfood chain.
Unlike Eastern Europe, zebra mussels have
no natural predators in the United States.
Currently, signs warning about zebra
mussels have been set up on interstate
highways entering Florida, with a radio
broadcast giving advice. Knowingly carry-
ing these mussels into Florida is a second
degree misdemeanor that carries a $500
fine and up to 60 days in jail.
Equipment used in suspected zebra
mussel-infested waters should be treated
with bleach, hot water above 120 degrees,
or very salty water-a half cup of table salt
per gallon of water. Even a boat motor's
cooling system should be flushed out. If
boating equipment feels gritty, it may be
young, microscopic mussels beginning to
grow. Boats used in infested waters should
be cleaned and not used in another lake
for at least three or four days.
For information on how to identify them
or how to prevent their spread, contact:
Gary Warren
Florida Fish & Wildlife
Conservation Commission
(352) 392-9617, ext. 279
E-mail: warreng@gfc.state.fl.us
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