Zebra mussels confirmed in several central Minnesota lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Koetter Lake in Stearns County, Mound Lake in Todd County and Crookneck Lake in Morrison County. 

A property owner on Koetter Lake in the Cedar Island basin contacted the DNR after finding adult zebra mussels on a dock and boat lift being removed from the lake for the season. DNR invasive species staff confirmed several half-inch zebra mussels.

The lakes connected by the Sauk River between Sauk Lake and Becker Lake, and that section of the Sauk River, will also be added to the infested waters list. These lakes include Melrose, Becker, Horseshoe, Zumwalde, Schneider, Great Northern, Cedar Island, East Lake, Little Lake, Cedar Island Main Bay and Mud Lake.

A property owner on Mound Lake contacted the DNR after finding adult zebra mussels on a dock and boat lift being removed from the lake for the season. Others subsequently contacted the DNR after finding zebra mussels in several other parts of the lake. DNR invasive species staff confirmed that zebra mussels are widely distributed in the lake.

DNR staff searched Crookneck Lake this summer, after an initial report of a single zebra mussel. They did not find additional zebra mussels at that time, but recently confirmed an adult zebra mussel on a dock being removed by DNR Parks and Trails staff from the public access.

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 their area aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have discovered an invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a 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.