Zebra mussel confirmed in Wright County’s Cedar Lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a zebra mussel in Cedar Lake, near Annandale in Wright County. 

The DNR confirmed a report from a lake association that one adult zebra mussel was found attached to a stick in about 3 feet of water at the Schroeder’s County Park public access. A broader survey of the lake is being conducted to determine how widely zebra mussels may be present. Signs at lake accesses have been updated to alert boaters to the presence of zebra mussels.

The DNR credits the Cedar Lake Conservation Club, which was conducting a proactive search for starry stonewort when the zebra mussel was found. They found no starry stonewort in the lake. Their early detection and reporting, and their cooperation with the DNR, increases the potential for a pilot project treatment. The DNR created zebra mussel pilot projects to attempt to treat isolated zebra mussel populations that are discovered and reported early, before they have spread extensively in a lake.

This is the first new confirmation of zebra mussels in a Minnesota lake in 2017. It’s an important reminder to follow the state’s invasive species laws:

  • Clean watercraft 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.

Zebra mussels are an invasive (non-native) species that can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes. Less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels.

More information is available on the aquatic invasive species page.