Olympia Update

State facing worst-ever ecological disaster from a tiny mussel


March 7, 2024

-Submitted photo

An exhibit of quagga mussels in the state Capitol building seeks to bring public awareness to the threat. Joining Rep. Mary Dye are (from left): Justin Bush, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Invasive Species Policy Coordinator, Olympia; and Eric Anderson (in uniform), Aquatic Invasive Species Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officer, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Port Townsend.

OLYMPIA–Back in February 2020, I met Puddles, Washington state's first mussel detection dog, and her handler, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Pam Taylor. A rescue dog from a shelter in California, Puddles, a Jack Russell terrier mix, was brought to Washington state in 2019 and trained to sniff out zebra and quagga mussels.

The mussels are smaller than a thimble. In 2020, while...

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