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Freshwater Mussels: Lake Crescent Assessment and Monitoring

Mussel ROVLake Crescent is a pristine lake in Olympic National Park enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Through a Washington's National Park Fund grant, the lake's native mussel population was surveyed, not only to protect the current mussels, but also to prevent invasion by non-native species.

The lake’s population of filter-feeding freshwater mussels live as deep as 270 feet and are a major factor in maintaining the lake’s near-pristine water quality. The freshwater mussels, and the lake itself, are vulnerable to the introduction of invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

ROV armUsing a miniature remote operating vehicle (ROV) deployed from an NPS boat, biologists assessed the current status of the native mussel population and established a routine for monitoring lake activity. The arm on the ROV will allow biologists to pick up and move mussels at depth.

Pictures have been provided by park biologists.