Zebra mussels confirmed in Horseshoe Lake in Crow Wing County

September 3, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Horseshoe Lake, near the city of Crosslake in Crow Wing County.

A Crow Wing County watercraft inspector found adult zebra mussels attached to an aquatic plant that was removed from a boat and trailer at the Horseshoe Lake public access. DNR aquatic invasive species specialists found adult zebra mussels at opposite ends of the west bay of Horseshoe Lake during a follow-up search.  

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 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.

Anyone who suspects a new infestation of an aquatic invasive plant or animal should note the exact location, take a photo or keep the specimen, and contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist.

More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.