The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Lake Shetek, near Currie in Murray County.
Lake Shetek is connected downstream by a meandering stream channel to Lake Sarah, where zebra mussels were confirmed in 2018. The DNR is considering which of several other water bodies connected to Lake Shetek might also be listed for zebra mussels.
A lake service provider contacted the DNR in September after finding a single adult zebra mussel attached to a rock in Lake Shetek. No additional zebra mussels were found during a follow-up search by the DNR at that time. Another adult zebra mussel, this time attached to a boat lift, was found and reported by the lake service provider in a different area of the lake in October.
“Lake property owners and lake service provider businesses play an important role in detecting invasive species, by carefully examining boats, docks and lifts when they are being removed from the water at the end of the season,” DNR Invasive Species Unit Supervisor Heidi Wolf said.
Lake property owners should carefully look for invasive species on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.
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 waterbody 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 waterbody.
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.