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Zebra mussels reach Eagle Lake, 10th infested lake in Kandiyohi County

Minnesota DNR courtesy image The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released this image of a zebra mussel found in Eagle Lake. The DNR has now listed the lake as among 10 in Kandiyohi County infested by the invasive aquatic species. 1 / 2
Minnesota DNR courtesy image The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released this image of a zebra mussel found in Eagle Lake. The DNR has now listed the lake as among 10 in Kandiyohi County infested by the invasive aquatic species. 2 / 2

WILLMAR — Add Eagle Lake to the list of Kandiyohi County lakes infested by zebra mussels, and with the confirmation, the probability that the invasive species will spread downstream to Willmar and Foot Lakes.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Monday that zebra mussels were confirmed in the Eagle Lake. A property owner had contacted the DNR after finding a one-half-inch zebra mussel on the north side of Eagle Lake.

A second zebra mussel was discovered on a settlement plate attached to a dock by a DNR employee who conducted a two-hour snorkel search.

It brings to 10 the number of lakes in the county where the invasive species has been confirmed. Eagle Lake is the headwaters for Hawk Creek, which flows to Foot and Willmar Lakes.

The lake will be monitored for additional zebra mussels, according to the DNR.

"It's helpful when lake users contact the DNR if they think they've found a zebra mussel or any other invasive species," said DNR invasive species specialist Eric Katzenmeyer. "We ask people to keep the specimen and send us a photo, to assist with identification and confirmation."

The DNR reminds lake users to follow laws designed to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

• Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.

• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.

• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

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.

The discovery of zebra mussels in Eagle Lake means that the invasive species is now present in the Crow River, Hawk Creek and Shakopee Creek watersheds. Infested lakes include Andrews, Calhoun, Eagle, Florida, Games, George, Green, Henchien, Norway and Swan.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335
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