Zebra mussels confirmed in Becker County lake

Zebra mussels Photo: KSTP. Zebra mussels

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: July 16, 2020 02:29 PM
Created: July 16, 2020 01:49 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that zebra mussels have been confirmed at a lake in Becker County.

According to the DNR, zebra mussels were found in Long Lake, near Detroit Lakes. The DNR said the lake is upstream of Muskrat Lake, where zebra mussels were confirmed in 2017.

In addition to Long Lake, other waters closely connected to it may also be added to the infested waters list, the department said.

"It's helpful when lake users contact us if they find what might be an invasive species that's new to a lake," said Heidi Wolf, DNR Invasive Species Unit supervisor. "Early detection is important because it can help prevent spread to other lakes."

Whether infested or not, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers at all lakes 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.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

The DNR said some invasive species are small and difficult to see. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions:

  • 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 compete with native species for food and habitat, and can also cut swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors and damage water intake pipes.

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