FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A colony of giant invasive Chinese mussels has been wiped out from a New Jersey pond.
They had threatened to spread to the Delaware River and wreak ecological havoc, as they already are doing in other parts of the world.
Officials say they’re confident they’ve narrowly avoided a serious environmental problem by eradicating the mussels from a former fish farm in Hunterdon County.
It’s the first place in North America the invasive mussels have surfaced.
The mussels hitched a ride to the United States in larvae form inside the gills of Asian carp.
The mussels can grow to the size of footballs.
If they had spread to the Delaware, they could have crowded out native shellfish and harmed recreational and commercial fish including shad and sturgeon.