The Minnesota Department of Natural resources has designated two lakes as infested after the discovery of invasive zebra mussels.
Zebra mussels were confirmed in two lakes in Minnesota in under a week’s time. Lake Eunice in Becker County was confirmed first on July 2 after an investigation of the lake turned up eight zebra mussels. Officials were first alerted to the invasive species being there by a citizen who discovered one of the mussels attached to a freshwater clam.
“We appreciate the reports we receive from citizens,” said DNR assistant invasive species specialist Mark Ranweiler in a press release.
The good news is, another lake connected to Lake Eunice by a stream, Lake Maud was found to be zebra mussel-free. It will avoid the infestation designation as a result.
Four days later, the DNR dropped another release confirming an infestation in Fish Trap Lake in Morrison County. Again, it was a member of the public who noticed the mussel, which was attached to a tree branch in the lake. The subsequent survey of the lake showed it was infested with an established population of adult zebra mussels.
“Fish Trap Lake is the first lake in Morrison County to be confirmed with zebra mussels,” said DNR invasive species specialist Christine Jurek in the press release. “This infestation underscores the need for continued diligence in complying with the state’s laws to prevent and curb the spread of invasive species.”
The designations of the lakes as being zebra mussel infected will mean boaters and anglers will need to be extra vigilant to prevent the spread to other nearby lakes.
The DNR has also asked boaters and anglers to report any suspected invasive species.
They recommend washing any boat used in infested waters with hot and high-pressure water to kill any mussels or other aquatic species that may try to hitch a ride. They also recommend drying a boat for five days.