In case you missed the article that was in yesterday's paper, zebra mussels have been found in the Batten Kill. (Read the article here if you missed it.)

I'm no biologist, but it seems to me that the water is too fast, and currents too swift, for the troublesome mollusks to establish much of a presence in the prime trout waters of the river. They attach themselves to rocks and other fixtures, and remove lots of zooplankton from the water, which is a problem for the foodchain.

Where I would be a little more concerned about them getting a foothold is in the lower sections of the river, from the Greenwich town beach on Route 29 downstream. Much of this water is slow and deep, the kind of area where the mussels could become entrenched.

The river from the Route 29/40 bridge downstream is also deeper and slower, so I wouldn't be surprised if mussels become an issue there. This stretch of water is a very underrated fishery, lots of big bass, trout, pike and the occasional tiger muskie make their way up from the Hudson River.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but it doesn't seem like any good will come from this invader.

-- Don Lehman


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