GLENWOOD -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Minnewaska and is adding it and Lake Emily to the state's list of infested waters.
The DNR announced Friday that scuba divers found a second zebra mussel in Lake Minnewaska. It was located about three miles from the location where earlier this month, a lakeshore owner found a zebra mussel attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was in four feet of water.
The DNR believes that the second mussel is two years old, based on its size. This suggests that there are at least two different year classes in the lake. Both are in the reproductive stage.
Zebra mussel veligers, or larvae, are likely dispersing to new areas throughout the lake, the DNR warns.
Zebra mussels have not been confirmed in Lake Emily, but the lake's location immediately downstream of Lake Minnewaska makes it very likely that the invasive species are present in its waters too, or will be soon.
The presence of zebra mussels in Lake Minnewaska means that the Chippewa River watershed is infested, and waters within that basin are more vulnerable to infestation.
The Chippewa River flows to the Minnesota River. The Andrew, Florida, Games and Norway Lake chain of lakes in Kandiyohi County are part of the Chippewa River watershed.