DNR confirms zebra mussels in Lake Minnewaska near Glenwood
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County near Glenwood. Recently, DNR snorkeling crews discovered a zebra mussel three miles from the location where, in early July, lakeshore residents found an adult zebra mussel attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was submerged in four feet of water.
Based on its size, the newly discovered mussel is two years old, which suggest that there are at least two different year classes in the lake, and both are of reproductive age.
The DNR suspects that veligers, or larvae, have dispersed to new areas away from where the adults were discovered. At this point they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Later this summer and into fall, the DNR will conduct more thorough surveys when the young become visible and begin attaching to boat lifts and docks.
This is the first zebra mussel infestation reported in Pope County. The DNR designated Minnewaska, the waters between Lake Minnewaska and Lake Emily, and Lake Emily as infested waters. Zebra mussels have not been confirmed in Lake Emily, but water from Lake Minnewaska flows into it. This designation will serve as a way to stay ahead of an infestation, meaning regulations, education and enforcement to limit the spread of invasive species will increase in these waters. Boaters can expect an increased presence of decontamination units and crews at water accesses on both lakes.
Boaters and anglers need to continue to take extra precautions, as zebra mussels could attach to their equipment, be attached to aquatic plants or be present in water and pose risks to other waters if transported.
Lake service providers in the Lake Minnewaska and Lake Emily area should review their permits to ensure they have the provision to transport zebra mussel infested docks, boatlifts and other equipment to their businesses to be cleaned. The provision can be added to permits without charge.
More information about aquatic invasive species is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.