Recently there was cause for concern as this Massachusetts lake was possibly exposed to zebra mussels.

Turns out, this wasn't the case and all is safe.

Now, the city of Pittsfield will proceed with a heightened awareness and look to bring a boat wash project to fruition.

Google Maps/Google Street View
Google Maps/Google Street View
loading... reported that Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath attributed the September detection to the shell of a dead zebra mussel that likely came through on a boat. At this time, Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is not believed to have an infestation.

""What we think has happened is there was probably a boat that was launched at the boat ramp last summer, it probably had a dead zebra mussel shell on it, stuck to it, and when it launched right off the boat ramp that shell sort of fell off the boat and was sort of among the rocks off of the boat ramp," - James McGrath

Zebra mussel mitigation efforts dates back to 2009 when the invasive species was found in Laurel Lake in Lee. From then to last fall, the city was in prevention of invasion mode, and after the detection, it was in rapid response mode with the intent of eradicating any pioneer infestation.

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Getty Images
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What is the Zebra Mussel?

According to Wikipedia, The zebra mussel is a small freshwater mussel. The species originates from the lakes of southern Russia and Ukraine, but has been accidentally introduced to numerous other areas and has become an invasive species in many countries worldwide.

There are hopes for results to remain negative for Onota Lake but a boat washing station is being considered in hopes to prevent any positive results.

""We probably really do need to implement a wash station, if not at the park, proximate to the park. We also know we've got Pontoosuc Lake that is another water body we're concerned about. So there's a lot of questions that were that are still being raised as we think about what it means for us to offer a boat wash." - James McGrath

$75,000 for the boat wash was granted in 2023 through the Community Preservation Act funding. The commission is rest assured that the city of Pittsfield has not dropped the ball on it.

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