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Zebra mussels have been identified for the first time in the wild in North Carolina

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

The N.C Wildlife Resources Commission has announced a harmful invasive species has been identified in an Iredell County quarry.

Zebra mussels have been identified for the first time in the wild in North Carolina.

The NCWRC, with help from divers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, confirmed reports of zebra mussels.

Adult mussels move to other bodies of water by attaching themselves to boats, dock lifts, and other water-related equipment. Officials say their larvae can be moved to other bodies of water through diving equipment, bait buckets, boat bilges, or other gear.

They can quickly take over an environment once they are established and officials say they can affect the health of other aquatic wildlife by disturbing the food chain and chemistry of the water.

To prevent the spread of invasive species NCWRC offers the following guidance:

Clean: Equipment of all aquatic plants, animals and mud.

Drain: Water from boats, live wells, bait buckets and all equipment.

Dry: All equipment thoroughly

Never Move: Fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another.

To report suspected zebra mussels, please contact the NCWRC’s district fisheries biologist offices.

Visit NCWRC’s aquatic nuisance species webpage for guidance on disinfecting snorkel and SCUBA gear and for more information on zebra mussels.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to