Members of the public are being asked to help out to limit the spread of quagga mussels in the East Midlands.
The invasive non-native species has recently been found in the River Trent near Newton-on-Trent, Lincolnshire, as well as in Rutland Water. People using the river or reservoir are now being urged to follow ‘check, clean, dry’ procedures to try to prevent the spread.
The Environment Agency has increased its monitoring across the region’s rivers to establish the extent of the problem and is working with Anglian Water and the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat to agree an appropriate bio-security response. While quagga mussels do not pose any immediate direct threat to water quality, animals or people, they do spread rapidly and can block pipes and water based assets resulting in significant future maintenance costs.
Quagga mussels were first recorded in the UK in 2014 and have previously been found in the Thames catchment. It is not known how they arrived in the Trent or Rutland Water.