The zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha was first recorded in the Netherlands in 1826. It is supposed that manmade interconnections between riviersystems (for example the Oginski canal connecting the riversystems of the Black and Baltic Sea) greatly enhanced the colonization of Western Europe by the beginning of the 19th century. The import of Russian timber could also have played a role.
Distribution in the Netherlands. Source: Molluca database of Anemoon and EIS-Nederland.
Nowadays, the zebramussel is common in all fresh or slightly brackish waters in the Netherlands. Although the species had a great economic impact in North America (blocking and damaging of dams, pipes and other industrial and municipal utilities) negative effects have never been reported from the Netherlands yet. In fact, the filter capacity of the zebramussels is sometimes used to improve the water quality.
Bruyne, R.H. de, Haaren, T. van, Koese, B.