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Zebra mussel found in Pickerel Lake

A zebra mussel has been found in Pickerel Lake near Cotton Lake in central Becker County, and the DNR plans to declare the lake infested on Thursday.

Gary Thompson, owner of Tri-State Diving, said he found a solitary zebra mussel last week just off the public boat access on Pickerel Lake.

Tri-State Diving uses Pickerel Lake for training new divers.

“We only found one (zebra mussel) and we’re hoping that’s the only one,” Thompson said. “We had another guy looking Sunday and he didn’t find any more.”

Tri-State Diving will continue to use Pickerel Lake for practice and training exercises, but all diving equipment will have to be sanitized after divers are finished, he said. Hot water and chlorine are used on some equipment and wetsuits require a special treatment, he said.

The DNR plans to issue a news release on the Pickerel Lake discovery on Thursday.

Even though only one zebra mussel was found, “they still have to list it as infested,” Thompson said. “If the lake goes a certain number years without any more being found, they can take it off again.”

The DNR announced last week that zebra mussels had been found in Lake Melissa, the first lake in Becker County to be designated infested.