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Zebra mussels found in Whiskey, Chippewa lakes

 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Whiskey Lake and later found zebra mussels in connected Chippewa Lake in western Douglas County.

Several other connected waters may be added to the state's infested waters list.

State invasive species specialists investigated an initial report of three adult zebra mussels in Whiskey Lake east of Brandon and found an abundant population distributed widely across the lake. They took a clean boat into Chippewa Lake and found nine zebra mussels along a shallow rock bar on the northeast side of the lake. Signs at lake accesses have been updated to alert boaters to the presence of zebra mussels. Details will be released if any connected waters are added to the infested waters list.

The spread of invasive species is not inevitable, even when lakes are near others where zebra mussels and other invasive species have been confirmed, said natural resources experts in a news release. Some Douglas County lakes have had zebra mussels since at least 2009; others do not.

The department said the latest zebra mussel findings should serve as a reminder to follow the state’s invasive species laws:

  • Clean 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.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To further reduce risk of transport, natural resources leaders recommend taking one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:     

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Farenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Farenheit for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Zebra mussels are an invasive (non-native) species that can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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