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Zebra mussel larvae confirmed in Upper Red Lake

Zebra mussels have been found in another popular Minnesota fishing lake, this time Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Monday confirmed the presence of zebra mussel larvae in the big walleye lake af...

Zebra mussels
Zebra mussels on a piece of pipe taken form an infested waterway. The Minnesota DNR on Monday confirmed zebra mussel larvae have been found in Upper red Lake. News Tribune file photo.
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Zebra mussels have been found in another popular Minnesota fishing lake, this time Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Monday confirmed the presence of zebra mussel larvae in the big walleye lake after recently studying water samples gathered last summer by biologists from the Red Lake Nation.

No adult zebra mussels have been found yet, but eight larvae, called veligers, were found in a sample taken in the middle of Upper Red Lake. DNR research scientist Gary Montz said it is almost certain the veligers came from adult zebra mussels already in the lake.

"Unfortunately, the most reasonable conclusion is that they came from adult reproduction within the lake itself," Montz said.

DNR and Red Lake Nation officials are working together to determine next steps. Actions will likely include a combination of continued monitoring, increased watercraft inspections in the area and additional public information efforts.

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Zebra mussels already have been found in other popular fishing lakes, such as Mille Lacs and Winnibigoshish. They infest new waterways mostly by being moved by people. Anglers and other boaters are asked to make sure they don't transport any water between waterways, to clean, drain and dry their boats between uses.

Zebra mussels can disrupt food chains in waterways, displace native mussels and foul water intakes, and their shells can foul beaches.

Related Topics: RED LAKE
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