Wash. plan to fend off mussels gets Lake Mead test

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Researchers in the Pacific Northwest plan to test whether a chemical coating that they hope prevents invasive mussels from clogging dams will work on Lake Mead at the Arizona-Nevada border.

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels aren't in the Pacific Northwest yet, but hydropower managers on the Columbia River fear that if they reach the area, they'll spread uncontrollably, filling dam pipes and crowding out other wildlife.

The Columbian of Vancouver, Wash., reports (http://bit.ly/Ig1PMG ) that later this year, researchers at a Washington state port will bring panels coated with a chemical solution to Lake Mead to see how the mussels themselves react to the coating.

Lake Mead is about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

With any luck, the force of water current alone will be enough to dislodge them.