it is great to know that a predator exists, reduce the invaders even in small quantities.
If the young larvae mussels are suspended and the size of zooplankton, wouldnt the juvenile fish eat those along with plankton?One thing to keep in mind is: what do the young-of-the-year predators eat?
Those predators have to reach a certain size before they can utilize this new "food source". Before they get to that size, they have to eat something else. Small young-of-the-year fish typically rely on plankton and zooplankton. If mussels, which are filter feeders, strip the water of the same food source that other fish rely on, then they can never reach a size to start preying on the mussels.
Certainly some catfish will take advantage of this [new] opportunity. The real question is whether or not it is sustainable?
It is very likely that some veligers will be eaten. They don't have a shell yet so they should provide some forage for all the young fish that have hatched in the spring. I will have our staff look at stomachs of larval shad and other small planktivorous fish caught in meter nets to see if we can see any microscopic evidence of veliger consumption.If the young larvae mussels are suspended and the size of zooplankton, wouldnt the juvenile fish eat those along with plankton?