The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Kimble Lake in Crow Wing County. As with a recent confirmation at another Crow Wing County Lake, zebra mussels were reported on boat lifts that had been removed from the water at the end of the season.
A lake service provider business contacted the DNR after finding an adult zebra mussel on a boat lift in storage on a Kimble Lake beach. DNR invasive species staff surveyed the lake and found one additional zebra mussel on a boat lift out of the water several hundred feet north of the public access.
“We want to remind lake property owners to carefully inspect docks and boat lifts once they’re out of the water for the season,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “Several recent zebra mussel confirmations have been made because vigilant lake property owners, lake service providers and watercraft inspectors are checking docks and lifts.”
Minnesota law requires docks and boat lifts to be out of the water for at least 21 days before putting them in another body of water. This requirement is an important tool for preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species.
Zebra mussels are an invasive (non-native) species that can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.
Less than two percent of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels.
Along with requiring docks and lifts to be out of the water for 21 days before putting them into another body of water, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
Clean their watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To further reduce risk of transport, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another body of water, especially after leaving infested waters:
Spray with high-pressure water.
Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds).
Dry for at least 5 days.
More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.