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Zebra mussels confirmed in Elkhorn Lake in Kandiyohi County

SPICER - Elkhorn Lake is now the 11th lake in Kandiyohi County to be infested by zebra mussels. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported on Thursday that it has confirmed zebra mussels in Elkhorn Lake. The 79-acre lake is located so...

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released this photo of an adult zebra mussel found on a boat lift removed from Elkhorn Lake.
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SPICER - Elkhorn Lake is now the 11th lake in Kandiyohi County to be infested by zebra mussels.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported on Thursday that it has confirmed zebra mussels in Elkhorn Lake. The 79-acre lake is located southwest of Green Lake, where zebra mussels were confirmed in July of 2014.

DNR fisheries staff from Spicer initially found one zebra mussel on the northwest side of Elkhorn Lake. Three DNR staff performed a dive search that did not reveal additional zebra mussels. DNR staff subsequently found individual adult zebra mussels while searching equipment in the water on opposite sides of the lake, according to the DNR.

The small lake has a maximum depth of 41 feet, and is known for the clarity of its water. It is ringed by residential development with the exception of its northwest shoreline. It offers fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegill and northern pike.

It is considered to be among the 18 lakes best known for recreational and fishing opportunities in the county.

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

Now is an important time to check for invasive species as docks and lifts are removed from lakes.

Minnesota law requires keeping docks and lifts out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them into another body of water.

The DNR recommends these steps for lake property owners:

  • 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.
  • Hire DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses to install or remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment. These businesses have received training on Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws and many have experience identifying and removing invasive species.

People should contact their area aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have discovered an invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake. Take a photo of any newly discovered invasive species before removing it from equipment. Save specimens or leave them in place until the DNR can investigate.

Related Topics: SPICERKANDIYOHI COUNTY
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