Zebra mussels confirmed in Big Fish Lake in Stearns County

Fall is a key time of year to check for invasive species

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Big Fish Lake in Stearns County. 

A lake services contractor found adult zebra mussels in two locations in the lake during a routine aquatic invasive species survey. A DNR invasive species specialist confirmed the finding.

“It helps a lot when lake property owners, lake service businesses and others notify us when they’ve spotted an invasive species,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor.

It is important to carefully check docks, boat lifts and other equipment being removed for the season. Minnesota law requires keeping docks and lifts out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water.

The DNR recommends these steps for lake property owners:

  • Look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period.
  • Hire DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses to install or remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment. These businesses have received training on Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws and many have experience identifying and removing invasive species.
  • People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have discovered an invasive species that has not already been confirmed in the lake. Take a photo of any newly discovered invasive species before removing it from equipment. Save specimens or leave them in place until the DNR can investigate.

More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.