Rapid spread of zebra mussels in lakes can be prevented by cleaning watercraft, say officials

Rapid spread of zebra mussels in lakes can be prevented by cleaning watercraft, say officials

So far, just one zebra mussel has been discovered in Otter Tail Lake in western Minnesota and four in Detroit Lake, still, they carry a label of ‘infested waters’.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources official Ann Pierce called it a precautionary measure, but indicated towards the possibility of more of the annoying mussels there.

Pierce added, “Looking for a quarter inch to 1.5 inch animal in any lake is like looking for a needle in a haystack, so just because we didn't find any additional zebra mussels doesn't mean they are not there”.

Otter Tail lake was an apt example because the DNR dive teams hunted for days seeking more of the mussels, but they didn’t come across any in collecting more than 3,000 samples.

This made Otter Tail Property Owners Association director Bernie Steeves think about the actual presence of zebra mussels in the lake. He said that they have questions regarding this.

However, Pierce said that DNR officials are confirmed about one thing that ‘it's us’ that have been spreading the somewhat risky invasive species from lake to lake.

After the discovery of mussels in two of the most famous lakes in western Minnesota—OtterTail and Detroit lakes—officials have been recommending boat and other watercraft owners to obey the fresh laws, requiring them to be cleaned properly at the time of taking them out of the water, with pulled drain plugs and old bait disposed of.

Among the over 11,300 Minnesota lakes, below 2% have been listed as infested for in total around 206.However, officials have mentioned that through proper watercraft cleaning, people can definitely avoid fast mussel spread. A scenario full of mussels is something lake users won’t be willing to witness.

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