Zebra mussels confirmed in Sauk Lake in Todd County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Sauk Lake, near Sauk Centre in Todd County. 

A resident on the northeast side of Sauk Lake contacted the DNR after finding numerous zebra mussels up to one-half inch in length on a boat lift being removed for the season. DNR invasive species staff found zebra mussels on rocks in the same area of the lake.

Sauk Lake is downstream from Lake Osakis and the Sauk River to Guernsey Lake, where zebra mussels were previously confirmed.

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.