The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed three new reports of zebra mussels in central Minnesota lakes in the last week: Detroit Lake in Becker County, Signalness Lake (popularly known as Mountain Lake) in Pope County, and Round Lake in Aitkin and Crown Wing counties.
The number of new zebra mussel finds in 2016 is running close to last year at this time. “Most new zebra mussel infestations are found and reported from late July to mid-August,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “Ten new finds have been confirmed this season, similar to the number confirmed last year at this time. We also add some connected waters to the list when their infestation is likely.”
Less than two percent of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels.
DNR invasive species staff confirmed two juvenile zebra mussels and two adults at two locations about a mile apart on Detroit Lake in Becker County.
A young swimmer found a rock with several mussels on Signalness Lake in Pope County. DNR invasive species staff confirmed they were zebra mussels.
Zebra mussels were reported to a lake association and confirmed by DNR invasive species staff on Round Lake in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties.
To protect the state’s waters from the spread of invasive species and the environmental, recreational and economic damage they cause, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
- Clean their watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
- Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
In 2016, there are more DNR-trained watercraft inspectors and more decontamination units on Minnesota lakes than ever before. Watercraft inspectors check to ensure that boaters and anglers follow clean, drain, dispose laws and may deny access if necessary. Decontamination stations provide a free and thorough process of removing aquatic plants and animals.