Zebra mussel confirmed in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County

Lake is connected to two others with zebra mussels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of a zebra mussel in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County. East Loon Lake is between and connected to East Spirit Lake and Sybil Lake, both of which were confirmed as having zebra mussels in 2016. 

A lake user contacted the DNR after finding a single adult zebra mussel in East Loon Lake, which DNR specialists confirmed through photos and the specimen itself. No additional zebra mussels were found during a follow-up survey.

“It’s helpful that an alert individual contacted us when they suspected they’d found a zebra mussel,” DNR assistant invasive species specialist Mark Ranweiler said. “Because they kept the zebra mussel, we were able to confirm the species identification.”

Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
  • 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:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees 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.

More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.