The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Norway Lake, just west of New London, and Diamond Lake, southeast of Spicer, in Kandiyohi County. All connected waters from Norway Lake downstream to Lake Andrew will also be added to the infested waters list.
A boater on Norway Lake recently found an adult zebra mussel attached to a floating piece of Eurasian watermilfoil and filed a report using the GLEDN (Great Lakes Early Detection Network) app. DNR invasive species specialists conducted a dive search and found a half-inch zebra mussel attached to a rock at the south end of the lake.
Separately, a citizen contacted the DNR after finding an adult zebra mussel on a settlement sampler at the end of a dock on Diamond Lake. Settlement samplers are metal plates on which young zebra mussels may settle and attach, and can be used for monitoring. A third observant lake user reported two zebra mussels found at the west boat access on Diamond Lake.
“Early detection is possible when people watch for aquatic invasive species and contact us when they find them,” DNR invasive species specialist Eric Katzenmeyer said. “Take a clear photo and keep the specimen, if possible, for DNR identification.”
There are several ways to be a more observant lake user. Download the GLEDN app and use it to report invasive animals and plants. Build a settlement sampler plate, using instructions available here. Consider becoming a certified aquatic invasive species detector through University of Minnesota Extension or get engaged with lake or county monitoring programs.
Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
- 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 remove or kill them, 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 Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
- Dry for at least five days.
Zebra mussels 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.
People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake.
More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.