Spiny waterfleas confirmed in Lake Vermilion, Minnesota.
July has been a bad month for Minnesota lakes, with yet another invasive species infestation. The Department of Natural Resources stated some anglers discovered a spiny waterflea in the northern Minnesota lake.
A subsequent survey by the Department confirmed the spiny waterflea population.
This is an unwanted species of crustacean, because it competes with small fish for plankton and disrupts the food chain. Lake Vermilion is now designated as an infested lake and will have signs posted to alert anglers and boaters.
“DNR staff are coordinating with the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and U.S. Forest Service to alert boaters and other visitors of the risk of spread,” said DNR aquatic biologist Rich Rezanka.
The Department reminded anglers to clean all aquatic plants and properly drain water from bilges and live wells before they leave boat launches. This helps prevent further spread of invasive species.
The tiny creatures reproduce quickly and spread easily via their microscopic eggs, which often hitch rides to other bodies of water in mud or water in boats. The eggs are also capable of surviving harsh northern winters.
The crustacean is known to clog fishing lines and equipment, creating frustration for anglers.
As a result, bait collecting is prohibited in any lake designated as infested.