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New zebra mussel infestations confirmed in lakes in Kandiyohi, Pope counties

Henderson Lake in Kandiyohi County and Leven Lake in Pope County are among the lakes where zebra mussel infestations are newly confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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Zebra mussels cover a rock pulled from Green Lake. It’s too early to know how the zebra mussel infestation of Lake Florida will impact the lake. (File)

Zebra mussel infestations have been confirmed in Henderson Lake near Spicer in Kandiyohi County and in Leven Lake near Villard in Pope County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.

Henderson Lake becomes the 12th water body in Kandiyohi County with confirmed zebra mussel infestations, according to a list of infected lakes maintained by the county’s Aquatic Invasive Species task force.

Lake property owners contacted the DNR after finding suspected zebra mussels on a sunken dock being removed from Henderson Lake. A DNR invasive species specialist confirmed the mussels were relatively large adult zebra mussels.

On Lake Leven, a lake property owner contacted the DNR after their grandson found suspected zebra mussels on equipment being removed from the lake for the season. A DNR invasive species specialist found zebra mussels on the dock at the Lake Leven public water access, about 600 yards from the initial report location.

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Henderson Lake is a small, 75-acre lake in the Hawk Creek watershed. It is located east of Ringo Lake, and during high water periods the two lakes are connected via a culvert that runs under U.S. Highway 71 between them.

Leven is a 281-acre lake that is upstream of Villard and Amelia lakes. Zebra mussels were confirmed last year in Villard Lake and in Amelia Lake in 2018.

“Lake property owners and lake service provider businesses play an important role in detecting invasive species, by carefully examining boats, docks and lifts when they are being removed from the water at the end of the season,” DNR Invasive Species Unit Supervisor Heidi Wolf said in a news release announcing the latest zebra mussel infestations.

The DNR reminds lakeshore residents that state law requires that docks and lifts remain out of the water for at least 21 days after removal from a waterbody before they can be placed into another waterbody. In addition, anyone who transports a dock or lift from a shoreline property to an off-site location for storage or repair may need a permit to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Related stories:

Zebra mussels were first confirmed in Kandiyohi County in 2014 in Green Lake. They are now confirmed in the following lakes: Andrew, Calhoun, Diamond, Eagle, Elkhorn, Florida, Games, George, Henderson, Nest, Norway (and West Norway).

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Submitted file photo A watercraft inspector with Kandiyohi County recognized this mussel as a zebra mussel when she found it attached to a piece of Eurasian watermilfoil floating in Diamond Lake back in June. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Diamond and Norway Lakes this past summer, and added Lake Andrew and Games Lake to the list of infested waters in Kandiyohi County since they are connected to Norway Lake.

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