Zebra mussels confirmed in Douglas County’s Burgen Lake

Lake is connected to another with zebra mussels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Burgen Lake in Douglas County. Burgen Lake is upstream of Lake Victoria, where zebra mussels were confirmed in 2009. 

DNR invasive species specialists investigated an initial report of two zebra mussels and found an abundant population distributed widely across the lake. Signs at lake accesses have been updated to alert boaters to the presence of zebra mussels.

The spread of invasive species is not inevitable, even when lakes are near others where zebra mussels and other invasive species have been confirmed. 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.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To further reduce risk of transport, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

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.

More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.