Zebra mussels found in 2 more Minnesota lakes

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The Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters to take precautions against zebra mussels and other invasive species.

This comes after the Minnesota DNR confirmed the presence of tiny, invasive zebra mussels in two more lakes, a news release says.

On July 9, DNR staff found one live zebra mussel in East Spirit Lake, located in northwestern Minnesota, after someone brought a quarter-inch zebra mussel into the local DNR office.

Then on July 20, the DNR found two three-quarter inch adult zebra mussels in Lake Osakis, in central Minnesota. Staff conducted the search there after getting a report of zebra mussel larvae in the lake.

The DNR will post invasive species alert signs at access points on the two lakes, and will also work to determine if waterways connected to the two lakes should be added to the agency's infested waters list.

As of November 2015, there were 112 lakes infested with zebra mussels, which accounts for less than 2 percent of all Minnesota lakes, the DNR's website says. (For an updated list of infested waterways, click here, or check out this map here.)

Zebra mussels are bad news for cities, power plants and those who use the water. The invasive species can clog water intakes and pipes; attach to boat motors, reducing their performance and efficiency; attach to rocks, swim rafts and ladders, where swimmers can cut their feet; and impact the health of the lake or waterway where they live.

In order to protect the rest of the state's waterways, Minnesota law requires boaters to clean their watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species; drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport; and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

A new fight against zebra mussels

Meanwhile, there's a new tactic in the battle against zebra mussels in Lake Minnetonka.

Researchers are hoping to decrease the zebra mussel population by killing them off when they're larvae using a copper-based pesticide, Lakeshore Weekly News reported.

The study began last week. Researchers will see what impact different concentrations of the pesticide have on the larvae's survival.

The Star Tribune said this is a first-of-its-kind study in Minnesota, and nationally.

To read more about the study, and other efforts to combat zebra mussels, click here and here.

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