The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Lake Henry, near Alexandria, and Red Rock Lake, near Hoffman. Both lakes are in Douglas County.
A Lake Henry property owner contacted the DNR when his daughter found an adult zebra mussel while swimming in the lake. A DNR invasive species specialist found another adult zebra mussel near the location of the initial report. Connected Lake Agnes and other unnamed connected waters also will be listed for zebra mussels.
A Douglas County aquatic invasive species technician contacted the DNR after finding about 10 young zebra mussels attached to settlement samplers near the Red Rock Lake public access. Settlement samplers are solid surfaces placed in the water that people can regularly check for attached zebra mussels to aid in detection. A DNR invasive species specialist found two additional zebra mussels attached to an adjacent dock during a follow-up survey.
Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, Minnesota law requires people to:
- Clean watercraft, trailers and equipment to remove aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
- Drain all water and leave drain plugs out during transport.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
- Never release bait, plants or aquarium pets into Minnesota waters.
- Dry docks, lifts and rafts for 21 days before moving them from one water body to another.
These additional steps reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species:
- Decontaminate watercraft and equipment – find free stations on the courtesy decontamination page of the DNR website.
- Spray with high-pressure water or rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
- Dry watercraft and equipment for at least five days before using in another water body.
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 on the aquatic invasive species page of the DNR website.