Skip to main content

DNR: Zebra mussels confirmed in 3 more Minnesota waters

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Despite efforts to muscle up the laws on the transportation of invasive species between Minnesota bodies of water, the Department of Natural Resources says it found zebra mussels in three more Minnesota waters.

The report comes one week to the day that Forest Lake in Washington County was found to have the same problem.

Per the DNR, the invasive species was discovered in Clearwater Lake in Wright and Stearns counties, Ruth Lake in Crow Wing County, and the Red River in northwest Minnesota. All three will be labeled as "infested" with zebra mussels.

The invasive species are believed to have spread to the Clearwater and Ruth lakes via boats, docks and other lake equipment that wasn't properly cleaned after leaving another body of water.

A human element is unlikely related to the infestation in the Red River, the DNR says.

An invasive species specialist in Stearns County told the St. Cloud Times the size of the zebra mussels in Clearwater Lake likely mean it's been infested for a year or two.

Minnesota has laws in place to limit the spread or introduction of aquatic invasive species. The DNR classifies zebra mussels as a "prohibited" invasive species.

Earlier this year state lawmakers delayed the start of a law that would have mandated all Minnesotans pulling watercraft on a trailer be able to pass a 30-minute invasive species test, the Star Tribune notes. More than 540,000 motorboats are registered in Minnesota.

According to, zebra mussels feast on tiny organisms in lakes. When those organisms are depleted, smaller fish and larva can starve, depleting options in the ecological food chain for sporting fish like walleye and northern.

A full list of Minnesota bodies of water infested with invasive species can be viewed here.

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.


Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.


Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

COVID-19 vaccine testing Mall of America

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 4

The 7-day average number of cases has been dropping.