The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Lake Aaron in Douglas County. Other waters closely connected to Lake Aaron may also be added to the infested waters list.
A lake user snorkeling near the Lake Aaron beach reported finding three zebra mussels attached to a rock. DNR invasive species specialists searched the lake and found seven adult zebra mussels one-quarter to one-half inch in length.
“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.”
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.