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Zebra mussels found in lakes downstream of West Battle Lake

A 'heritage lake' with no motor boating is among the connected waters

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has identified zebra mussels in two Otter Tail County lakes downstream of West Battle Lake.

The DNR discovered several zebra mussels in Molly Stark Lake and Annie Battle Lake during a search.

Because of a defined stream connection, Lake Blanche, an unnamed lake between Annie Battle and Blanche, and the streams connecting those lakes will also be listed as infested. Annie Battle Lake is a "heritage lake," where motors and electronics are not allowed and limits are reduced on most fish.

Zebra mussels were confirmed in West Battle Lake in August 2016.

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 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.