Rapid Response

What is Rapid Response? | Why Should You Care?
RR Plans and Exercises 
Columbia River Basin RR Plan | State RR Plans | State RR Exercises | Federal RR Plans 
RR Work Group
What is Rapid Response?

Even the best prevention efforts cannot stop all invasive species. Early detection, rapid assessment and rapid response (EDRR) is a critical second defense against the establishment of aquatic invasive species. EDRR increases the likelihood that localized invasive populations will be found, contained, and eradicated before they become widely established. EDRR can slow range expansion, and avoid the need for costly long-term control efforts. Effective EDRR depends upon the timely ability to answer critical questions such as:

  1. What is the species of concern, and has it been authoritatively identified?

  2. Where is it located and likely to spread?

  3. What harm may the species cause?

  4. What actions (if any) should be taken?

  5. Who has the needed authorities and resources?

  6. How will efforts be funded?

Why should you care?

Invasive species exact a high price from both society and our environment, threatening native fish and wildlife and their habitats. Invasive species:

  • Cost Americans more than $137 billion a year.

  • Impact nearly half the species listed as threatened or endangered.

  • Can devastate key industries including seafood, agriculture, timber, hydro-electricity, and recreation.

  • Impede recreation such as boating, fishing, hunting, gardening, and hiking.

  • Spread easily by wind, water, animals, people, equipment, and imported goods.

  • Increase frequency and intensity of wildfires and livestock poisonings.

  • Destabilize soil and alter hydrology of streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands.


Successful Early Detection and Rapid Response Programs include:

  1. Potential threats are being identified in time to allow risk-mitigation measures to be taken;

  2. New invasive species are being detected in time to allow efficient and environmentally sound decisions to be made;

  3. Responses to invasions are effective and environmentally sound and prevent the spread and permanent establishment of invasive species;

  4. Adequate and timely information is being provided to decision-makers, the public, and to trading partners concerned about the status of invasive species within an area; and

  5. Lessons learned from past efforts are being used to guide current and future efforts.

Rapid Response Plans and Exercises

Columbia River Basin RR Plan

Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Response Plan: Zebra Mussels and Other Dreissenid Species (February 2014) (amended March 8, 2017) (.pdf)

Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Response Plan: Zebra Mussels and Other Dreissenid Species without Appendices (February 2014) (amended March 8, 2017) (.pdf)

Appendix A—Dreissenid Biology

Appendix B—Rapid Response Checklists

Appendix C—Notification Lists and Procedures

Appendix D—Containment, Control, and Eradication

Appendix E—Regulatory Requirements

Appendix F—Contingency Plans

Bonneville Hydroelectric Project Response Plan for Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

Appendix G—Sample Documents

Model Letter of Agreement

Sample Press Release in the Event of Discovery of Dreissenid Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

Sample State Declaration of Emergency

Sample Delegation of Authority

Appendix H—Forms

Appendix I—Glossary

Appendix J—Dreissenid Mussel Laboratories

State Rapid Response Plans and Guidelines

(Amended April 2017)

Washington (Amended June 2017)


Montana (Amended June 2018)

State Rapid Response Exercises


Oregon Dreissenid Rapid Response Exercise, Lake Billy Chinook After Action Report (2020)

Lessons Learned - State Dreissenid Rapid Response Exercises (2019)

Hells Canyon Dreissenid Rapid Response Exercise Summary (May 2019)

Montana Rapid Response Exercise After Action Report, Flathead Lake (September 2018)

Washington State Rapid Response Exercise After Action Report, Lincoln Rock State Park, Wenatchee, WA (October 2017)

Jackson Lake Rapid Response Exercise After Action Report, Jackson Lake Wyoming (May 2016)

2013 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Prineville Reservoir, Oregon (April 2013)

2011 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Lake Koocanusa, Libby, Montana (October 2011)

2010 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Lake Roosevelt, Spokane, Washington (September 2010)

2009 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Boise Idaho (April 2009)

2008 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Portland, Oregon (October 2008)

2007 Columbia River Basin Interagency Invasive Species Rapid Response Exercise, Vancouver, Washington (October 2007)


Western Regional Panel

Model Rapid Response Plan for Aquatic Nuisance Species (Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (2003)

Federal Rapid Response Plans


Columbia River Basin Dreissenid Mussel Rapid Response Action Plan Programmatic Environmental Assessment (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division/Walla Walla District, 2019)

Catalog of U.S. Federal Early Detection/Rapid Response Invasive species Databases and Tools (2018)

The U.S. Department of the Interior. 2016. Safeguarding America’s lands and waters from invasive species: A national framework for early detection and rapid response, Washington D.C., 55pp.

A National Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants in the United States (Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (2003)

Provincial Rapid Response Plans and Guidelines

The Inter-Provincial Territorial Agreement for Co-ordinated Regional Defence Against Invasive Species (2016) 

Zebra and quagga mussel early detection and rapid response plan for British Columbia

Dreissenid Mussels and Alberta’s Irrigation Infrastructure: Strategic Pest Management Plan and Cost Estimate

Rapid Response Work Group

The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Portland State University Center for Lakes and Reservoirs, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission sponsored a workshop on May 15, 2013 entitled, “Preventing an Invasion:  Building a Regional Defense against Quagga and Zebra Mussels”. The workshop convened 90 individuals representing Canadian and Pacific Northwest irrigation and water districts, water suppliers, legislators, state and federal agencies, tribal sovereign nations, nonprofit organizations, recreational boating interests, consortiums, and others in Vancouver, Washington. The workshop developed a set of action items addressing the challenges and barriers to prevent the introduction of invasive mussels to the Pacific Northwest. The information on this website includes the presentations from the workshop and the action plan developed to address prevention efforts in the Pacific Northwest. The action plan included the created of a Rapid Response Work Group and a Vulnerability Assessment Team in the Columbia River Basin.


Meeting Presentations

The Great Lakes’ Experience with Dreissenid Mussels (R. Griffiths, OSU)

Mussel Management on the Lower Colorado River (L. Willett, BOR, Hoover Dam)

Mussel Management in Southern California (R. De Leon, MWDSC)

Overview of Q/Z Mussel Threat, Impacts, Current Prevention Activities in the CRB (M. Sytsma, PSU; S. Phillips, PSMFC)

IEAB Dreissenid Economic Impacts Study for the CRB (J. Ruff, NWPCC)

Regional Examples of Coordination (L. DeBruyckere, OISC)


Speaker Bio’s
Media Advisory
Briefing: Quagga and Zebra Mussel Threat to the Pacific Northwest
Guest opinion: The zebra and quagga mussel threat to the Pacific Northwest can be avoided with a reasonable investment in prevention
H.R. 1823: PLAQ Act of 2013

Z/Q Mussels Permitting Information

Zequanox EPA Approved Master Label June 2014

Assessment of the Efficacy and Environmental Impact of Zequanox® for Zebra Mussel Control Programs in Lakes and Reservoirs (Marrone Bio Innovations 2012)

A Guide for Requesting Section 18 Emergency Exemptions from Registration in Washington State (2012)

California Zebra mussel General Permit – Chlorine, 2011

Pesticide Regulatory Education Program’s (PREP) FIFRA Section 18 Emergency Exemption Program Training Resource


Z/Q Mussel Eradication and Control Information

Oregon and Washington Dreissenid Rapid Response Working Group Meeting Summary (DeBruyckere and Phillips 2013)

Quagga and Zebra Mussel Eradication and Control Information Sheets (CA Sea Grant 2013)

Final Environmental Assessment Millbrook Quarry Zebra Mussel and Quagga Mussel Eradication (2005)

FONSI and Final EA – Controlling Quagga Mussels in the Cooling Water System at Davis Dam Using Zequanox (BOR 2011)

Appendices* – Controlling Quagga Mussels in the Cooling Water System at Davis Dam Using Zequanox (BOR 2011)

*Note: Includes Correspondence and Documentation; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act Section 18 Emergency Exemption Project File Docket; Appendix C. Treatment Evaluation Methodology; Zequanox Product Label; Manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet; Research and Development Project Report Summary: Efficacy of Pf CL 145A, Formulations for the Control of Zebra and Quagga Mussels at DeCew II Generating Station, St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada;. Comment Letters and Response to Comments

Articles and Reports from RNT Consulting Inc. [Note: Includes numerous dreissenid control research papers]


Rapid Response Protocols for Aquatic Invasive Fish (MRBP 2010)

Guidelines for Developing Commercial Harvest Policy for Aquatic Invasive Species (MRBP 2007)