Are you interested in helping keep a lookout for zebra mussels in Candlewood Lake this summer? Help us by making a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) zebra mussel "hotel" and checking it weekly for zebra mussels! All you need is a cinder block, a rope, and a location on Candlewood Lake you can check. How do you do it? Check out this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies!
You only need two things for your monitoring station: something hard that zebra mussels can attach to and grow on, and a rope to tie it to your dock. We used a cinderblock, but you can use a brick, PVC, large stone, or any other hard surface. Make sure your rope is durable and waterproof, as it will spend most of its time in the lake.
Step 2: Tie Your Station Securely With Your Rop
Using your rope and a secure knot, tie your cinderblock or another similar hard surface together so that it won’t untie or break and drift away.
Step 3: Lower Your Station into the Lake
Carefully lower your station into the lake off of your dock, testing your knot and rope to ensure everything is secure. If your station is heavy (like a cinderblock or brick) you want it to sit on the lake bottom. Zebra Mussels grow at depths of roughly 3 to 30ft, so choose a depth that works for your dock. Lighter stations can float, as long as they remain submerged at a depth of 3ft or lower.
Step 4: Tie Your Station Securely to Your Dock and Wait 1 Week

Give your station one week under the water to ensure that if there are mussel larvae, they have time to attach and begin to grow on your monitoring station.
Step 5: Pull Your Station out of the Lake and Check for Signs of Mussel Growth
Check every side of your station to look for adult and juvenile mussels. Look for fingernail-shaped mussels with a striped “zebra” pattern. To search for juveniles and growing larvae, rub your hand over the surface of your station. Does it feel rougher than usual? Do you see small black nubs that are attached to the surface? If you see anything you think might be a zebra mussel, take a picture and send it to [email protected] right away and we will identify it for you! After checking, return your station to the lake and check again in another week.