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Zebra mussels make it to Isle Royale

A cluster of zebra mussels sits on a navagation buoy that was pulled from Lake Superior by the USCG Cutter Alder. Park Service officials have confirmed the presence of zebra mussels on Isle Royale. Plans call for the complete eradication of the colony from the island's waters. (File / News Tribune)

Zebra mussels have invaded Isle Royale National Park, with Park Service officials Monday confirming the finding for the first time.

Park officials are concerned because Isle Royale holds one of the region's largest remaining populations of native mussels on small lakes on the island. Zebra mussels have in many cases wiped out native mussel populations across the Great Lakes.

"A lot of the boats that come here come from harbors that have zebra mussel problems on other parts of [Lake Superior]," Isle Royale superintendent Phyllis Green said. "But we may never know exactly how they got here."

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