New finds of aquatic invasive species have been reported in Green Lake near Spicer and Games Lake near Sunburg, both in Kandiyohi County, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
During the week of July 14, a new infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil was reported to DNR Invasive Species Specialist Nicholas Brown, by a lakeshore owner on Games Lake, about 7 miles east of Sunburg. The report was confirmed when the plant was found growing in the lake near the outlet from Norway Lake. Norway Lake is also infested with Eurasian watermilfoil.
On Monday, July 21, a suspected zebra mussel specimen was brought into the Spicer DNR office for positive identification. The property owner said he found the zebra mussel attached to a dock post in about 4 feet of water in Green Lake, but was unable to find another. The specimen was confirmed as an adult zebra mussel by Brown, though it was dead at the time of inspection. DNR personnel conducted additional searches on Green Lake, July 22 and July 24, but no additional zebra mussels were found.
Green Lake will be designated as infested with zebra mussels. The DNR will work with local partners to continue monitoring for the presence of zebra mussels. If no additional evidence of a zebra mussel population is found in Green Lake for the next five years, the DNR may revisit the decision to list the lake as infested with zebra mussels. As a precaution, Lake Calhoun in Kandiyohi County will also be designated as infested because it is directly downstream from Green Lake.
“These newest reports emphasize the need for everyone to be on the lookout for zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species,” Brown said. “Lakeshore owners should take extra time to examine docks, boat lifts and rafts, especially when removing them this fall.”Zebra mussels pose serious ecological and economic threats to Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Heavy infestations can kill native mussels, impact fish populations and interfere with recreation.
Minnesota currently has more than 175 water bodies designated as infested with zebra mussels. Designation does not mean each body of water is confirmed to be infested, but that zebra mussels have been detected in a lake accessible by boat, and spread is likely between connected waters.
Preventing the spread of invasive species takes personal responsibility. Before leaving a lake, boaters must remove all aquatic vegetation and animals including zebra mussels or other prohibited invasive species, drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
“We want to stress that lake users be diligent in following the laws, including inspecting, cleaning, and draining boats and dumping all unwanted bait in the trash,” Brown said. “Following these steps will slow the spread of all invasive species.”
More information about aquatic invasive species, how to inspect boats and other water-related equipment, and a current list of designated infested waters can be found on the DNR website.