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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirms zebra mussels in Long Lake by Willmar

A swimmer found a zebra mussel on a rock in Long Lake north of Willmar, and her father contacted the DNR. A search found one zebra mussel at each of two locations searched by DNR snorkelers.

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Zebra mussels are shown on a stone from the waters of Green Lake at the Saulsbury access in Spicer in this file photo.
Tom Cherveny / West Central Tribune file photo
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WILLMAR — Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Long Lake north of Willmar, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.

The invasive aquatic species were confirmed after a lake property owner contacted the DNR. The owner’s daughter had found a zebra mussel attached to a rock while swimming in the lake.

Invasive species specialists with the DNR conducted a snorkel search of two areas of the 1,568-acre lake. They found a single zebra mussel at each site.

Long Lake becomes the 13th lake in Kandiyohi County listed for zebra mussels.

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Zebra mussels were first confirmed in Kandiyohi County in 2014 in Green Lake. They are now confirmed in the following lakes: Andrew, Calhoun, Diamond, Eagle, Elkhorn, Florida, Games, George, Henderson, Long, Nest, Norway (and West Norway).

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Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, Minnesota law requires people to:

  • Clean watercraft, trailers and equipment to remove aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
  • Drain all water and leave drain plugs out during transport.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
  • Never release bait, plants or aquarium pets into Minnesota waters.
  • Dry docks, lifts and rafts for 21 days before moving them from one water body to another.

These additional steps reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species:

  • Decontaminate watercraft and equipment — find free stations on the courtesy decontamination page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/Decon .
  • Spray with high-pressure water or rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry watercraft and equipment for at least five days before using in another water body.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

People should contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist at mndnr.gov/Invasives/AIS/Contacts.html if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.

More information is available on the Aquatic Invasive Species page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/AIS .

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email:
willmar-newsdesk@wctrib.com or phone 320-235-1150.
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