Zebra mussels confirmed in Itasca County lake
BEMIDJI—The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed Thursday, Sept. 14, that zebra mussels have been found in North Star Lake in northern Itasca County.
A North Star Lake resident contacted the DNR after finding zebra mussels when removing a dock and boat lift, according to a DNR release. DNR staff confirmed juvenile zebra mussels along the lakeshore and at the nearby public access. They confirmed adult zebra mussels several hundred feet south of the location of the initial report.
North Star Lake is about 75 miles east of Bemidji.
The DNR is reminding boat owners as they begin taking boats and equipment out of the water for the season to carefully check for aquatic invasive species and contact the DNR with any suspected new infestations. Look on the posts, wheels and underwater support bars of docks and lifts, as well as any parts of boats, pontoons and rafts that may have been submerged in water for an extended period, the DNR said.
Minnesota law requires that docks and lifts be allowed to dry for at least 21 days before being placed into another body of water, whether aquatic invasive species are present or not.
For the many still actively using lakes this year, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
• Clean watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
• Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:
• Spray with high-pressure water.
• Rinse with very hot water
• Dry for at least five days.
People should contact area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake.
More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.