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Citizen finds what's believed to be zebra mussel in Lake Minnewaska

Zebra mussels are shown here next to a quarter. The invasive species are a continued threat to Minnesota lakes.

GLENWOOD -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating a report that a zebra mussel was found in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County near Glenwood.

A citizen reported finding what appears to be an adult zebra mussel. It was attached to the metal portion of a boat seat mount that was submerged in four feet of water. He was removing trash blown into the lake from a severe storm last summer.

A DNR snorkeling team conducted a shoreline survey on July 18 but did not find any additional zebra mussels around the site where the boat seat mount was found.

Additional searches are underway reaching outward from the site, according to the DNR.

If confirmed, it would represent the first zebra mussel infestation in Pope County. It also increases concerns in Kandiyohi County about the risks of infestation due to its proximity.

Lake Minnewaska is part of the Chippewa River watershed. Other lakes in the watershed include the Norway, Florida, Games and Andrew chain of lakes in Kandiyohi County; Emily and Reno Lakes in Pope County and Chippewa Lake in Douglas County.

Lake Minnewaska is one of west central Minnesota's most popular lakes for boating and fishing.