The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Becker County's Long Lake, according to a news release Thursday, July 16.
Other waters closely connected to Long Lake, on the west side of Detroit Lakes, may also be added to the infested waters list. Long Lake is connected to, and upstream of, Muskrat Lake where zebra mussels were confirmed in 2017.
The DNR searched Long Lake after a lake user reported a single zebra mussel. DNR invasive species specialists found two adult zebra mussels on the opposite side of the lake from the original report.
“It’s helpful when lake users contact us if they find what might be an invasive species that’s new to a lake,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR Invasive Species Unit supervisor. “Early detection is important, because it can help prevent spread to other lakes.”
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 a DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.
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 body of water:
- 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.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.