New Tool to Prevent Spread of Zebra Mussels Presented at St. Paul Symposium

Updated: 03/19/2014 9:32 PM
Created: 03/19/2014 6:00 PM
By: Beth McDonough

As the snow starts to melt, we're getting closer and closer to a day on the boat.

Now, there's a new step forward to protect our beloved Minnesota Lakes from those harmful aquatic invasive species, like zebra mussels, Asian carp and milfoil.

The meeting interested Jay Green, who is an angler and has a home near Lake Minnetonka, but feels like he lives on the water.  All too often, when he comes back from fishing, he says he notices he's got company on the boat. "We're seeing the more you pull up milfoil and see zebra mussels attached to it now," Green said.

He's worried they're a threat to the environment, economy and water. "It's part of our lifestyle, so it's a daunting task trying to prevent this," Green said.

That's why Green met up with experts on invasive species in St. Paul. 

Folks from the Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife and other experts gathered in St. Paul because Minnesota is considered a leader in the fight against aquatic invasive species.

They learned a filter, called Mussel Master, could be the future in that fight.

"Say you've pumped in 100 gallons of water off Lake Minnetonka and it comes in now and then pumps out, any villagers that happen to be in that tank can't get out either," said Larry Meddock with the Water Sports Industry Association. The villagers are trapped. That's important because the filter reduces the risk of any hitchhikers being transported from one lake to another through ballast tanks on boats. 

The DNR identified the tanks as factors in the spread of zebra mussels, which are considered to be the most damaging organism. The filter is manufactured for new wake board boats, but the goal is to make it for everyday fishing boats too.

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