Zebra mussels confirmed in Ball Club Lake in Itasca County

July 6, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Ball Club Lake, located entirely within the Leech Lake Reservation in Itasca County.

Following a report from Itasca County, a DNR invasive species specialist and county staff found large populations of adult zebra mussels in several locations across the lake.

The DNR is in contact with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Leech Lake Association.

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, 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.

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 Minnesota 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.