Despite years of effort by the lake association, zebra mussels have been found in Floyd Lake, a development that is "very disheartening," said Floyd Shores Association President Jenifer Mastrud.
"We're devastated in the fact that we finally have an AIS (aquatic invasive species)," she said. "We've done so much, we've been really diligent..."
Watershed district staff alerted the DNR to the discovery of an adult zebra mussel attached to a native clam in Floyd Lake. DNR invasive species specialists found several adult zebra mussels in three areas of the lake, which is located just north of Detroit Lakes.
Swimmers also reported finding two adult zebra mussels on Jewett Lake, located between Maplewood State Park and Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County.
The DNR confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in both lakes.
"It's helpful when people recreating or working on a lake contact the DNR when they find a suspected invasive species," DNR assistant invasive species specialist Mark Ranweiler said.
Floyd Lake is at the top of the Pelican River chain of lakes, and the river runs into Big Detroit Lake and out of Little Detroit. From there it flows to Muskrat Lake, Lake Sallie, Lake Melissa, Buck Lake, Little Pelican and Pelican Lake, eventually joining the Ottertail River south of Pelican Rapids.
Zebra mussels float downstream, but Detroit Lake and most other downstream lakes are already infested.
Despite the bad news on zebra mussels, Floyd Lake residents aren't going to give up the fight against invasive species, Mastrud said. "Our efforts going forward is that we don't want any more aquatic invasive species-there are a lot more terrible things out there," she said. "We'll be stepping up to try to prevent those."
She said her lake association and others would like to see the state get more aggressive on protecting lakes from aquatic invasives. "We'd like to see more preventative measures," she said. That could include checkpoints at accesses and more protective regulations, including on lakeshore owners bringing in docks and lifts from other lakes. "We as a state need to protect one of our most valuable resources-our lakes," she said.
Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law 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.
- 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 Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
- Dry for at least five days.
- Zebra mussels 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.
People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.