Zebra mussels confirmed in Ely Lake in St. Louis County

August 12, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Ely Lake, near Eveleth in St. Louis County.

DNR invasive species specialists followed up on a report from a lake property owner of an adult zebra mussel found under their dock. A DNR scuba search revealed adult zebra mussels under rocks several hundred yards from the site of the initial report.

Zebra mussels were confirmed in the nearby Gilbert Mine Pit (also known as Lake Ore-Be-Gone) in 2012.

Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, 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 a watercraft 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.