Zebra mussels confirmed in Amelia Lake in Pope County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Amelia Lake in Pope County. 

A group of swimmers contacted the DNR after finding a quarter-inch zebra mussel attached to a rock on the north end of the lake. DNR aquatic invasive species specialists found 36 juvenile and adult zebra mussels in three locations during a follow-up survey of Amelia Lake. Another lake user contacted the DNR after finding two additional zebra mussels at the same location as the original report.

“It’s helpful that lake users are being vigilant and are contacting us when they suspect they’ve found a zebra mussel,” DNR assistant invasive species specialist Mark Ranweiler said. “We ask people to keep the specimen and send us a photo, to assist with identification and confirmation.”

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.
  • 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.