DNR says zebra mussels discovered in metro’s White Bear Lake, Lake Waconia
St. Paul Pioneer Press WHITE BEAR LAKE -- Invasive zebra mussels have been found in White Bear Lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Friday. The agency also said the mussels were discovered in Lake Waconia, in the west met...
St. Paul Pioneer Press
WHITE BEAR LAKE - Invasive zebra mussels have been found in White Bear Lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Friday.
The agency also said the mussels were discovered in Lake Waconia, in the west metro’s Carver County.
DNR biologists found three mussels in both Lake Waconia and White Bear Lake.
Both infestations were initially discovered by members of the public, who found the mussels while snorkeling or boating and reported them to the DNR.
A high school science teacher discovered three mussels while snorkeling on the southeast shore of White Bear Lake last weekend. A boater and later an angler recently found mussels on their vessels after pulling them from Lake Waconia.
DNR officials say the size and location of the mussels suggest they are reproducing.
“In such cases, control efforts such as the chemical treatment recently tried on Christmas Lake in Shorewood would likely be ineffective,” the agency said Friday.
Zebra mussels, which are not indigenous to the area, can push out native species of mussels as well as compete for food with other aquatic life. They attach to boat hulls and other water-related equipment and their sharp shells can create a hazard for swimmers.
The infestation poses a new headache for White Bear Lake. The 2,500-acre lake straddling Ramsey and Washington counties has shrunk dramatically the past decade. The decline is the subject of two environmental studies and a lawsuit, filed by homeown ers against the DNR and accusing the agency of allowing excessive aquifer pumping.
On Friday, DNR officials reiterated that boaters should check their vessels’ hulls before leaving any area lake or river, and remove all vegetation. Additionally, they should get rid of all unused bait and remove drain plugs when transporting their watercraft.
Earlier this month, the DNR confirmed that zebra mussels were found in Lake Virginia in the west metro, as well as in Cass Lake in northwestern Minnesota. Last month, they were confirmed in Christmas Lake near Lake Minnetonka. The mussels were found in Lake Minnetonka itself in 2010.
Anyone who might have spotted a new infestation should note the exact location, take a photo and call the DNR at 888-646-6367.