Zebra mussels confirmed in 2 Crow Wing County waters

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Lake Edward, near Brainerd, and the Mahnomen Mine Pit No. 1, near Crosby in Crow Wing County. 

A DNR invasive species specialist confirmed an adult zebra mussel in the beach area of the Lake Edward resort. The DNR confirmed a second zebra mussel about a half mile from the initial report site.

In the second location, a DNR invasive species specialist responded to a report of a single zebra mussel in the Mahnomen Mine Pit No. 1 and found multiple adult mussels in the lake. The Mahnomen Mine Pit is connected to Pennington, Arco, Alstead, and Mahnomen 2 and 3 in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.

A more extensive survey of both waters will be 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.

These are the second and third new confirmations of zebra mussels in a Minnesota lake in 2017.

Several other nearby lakes were confirmed with zebra mussels from 2014 to 2016. This does not mean the spread of zebra mussels is inevitable. Zebra mussels are transported over land by human activity, and it’s up to lake users to prevent the spread. 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.

When transporting water-related equipment such as boat lifts, docks, swim rafts or associated equipment, Minnesota law requires a 21-day day drying time to destroy attached organisms, before placing that equipment in another lake.

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.