Zebra mussels confirmed in East Silent Lake in Otter Tail County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of a zebra mussel in East Silent Lake in Otter Tail County. 

A property owner contacted the DNR after finding a one-half inch zebra mussel attached to a native mussel near a dock in about two feet of water.

DNR staff conducted follow-up searches of more than 1,500 objects in East Silent Lake and found no additional zebra mussels. The lake will be added to the infested waters list, because the DNR verified the initial report. The lake will be monitored for additional zebra mussels.

“It’s helpful that lake users are being vigilant and are contacting us when they suspect they’ve found a zebra mussel,” DNR 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.

More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.