The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says adult and juvenile zebra mussels have been confirmed in Eagle Lake in Otter Tail County in west-central Minnesota.
A lake property owner who was removing equipment from the lake for the season contacted the DNR after finding what were confirmed to be adult zebra mussels on a dock and related equipment. DNR staff conducted equipment searches and found seven juvenile zebra mussels in a second area of the lake, about three-quarters of a mile away from the initial location.
Meanwhile, an invasive zebra mussel has been discovered in New Brighton’s Long Lake.
The DNR announced Thursday, Sept. 19, that the mussel was found by a diver contracted to conduct an early detection survey of the 175-acre lake northwest of Interstates 694 and 35W in the Twin Cities. The DNR and Ramsey County conducted a follow-up search but didn’t find additional mussels.
Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors and damage water intake pipes.
The DNR said lake property owners should check boats and trailers, docks and lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage and report suspected new invasive species to the agency.
The DNR recommends property owners look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.
Hire DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses to install or remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment. These businesses have attended training on Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws and many have experience identifying and removing invasive species.
People are urged to follow Minnesota’s law and keep docks and boat lifts out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water. Minnesota law also requires boaters and anglers to clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species, drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:
Spray with high-pressure water.
Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
Dry for at least five days.