Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Pennsylvania
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Pennsylvania Project

Zebra mussel impacts on fish mercury concentrations

January 2024 - December 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

Recent work has shown that invasive Dressenid mussels can increase mercury (a neurotoxin) in fish tissues, but it is unknown how widespread these effects are. This work assesses this zebra mussel effect at a large scale and provides explicit predictions of mercury concentrations in important fisheries. We will produce mercury risk maps that can be used to guide monitoring towards potential mercury hot spots. This work will enhance our understanding of zebra mussels as a driver of variation in mercury bioaccumulation and ensure that future monitoring is allocated strategically–mitigating a significant impact of a highly problematic invader.