The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Round Lake, located just west of Rush Lake in Otter Tail County.
DNR conservation officers confirmed zebra mussels that were found on equipment being removed for the season on Round Lake’s eastern shore. No additional zebra mussels were found during a follow-up search of several other areas of the lake.
Zebra mussels were confirmed in Rush Lake in July of 2017. Round Lake is not connected to Rush Lake, but they are about one-quarter mile apart, separated by Highway 78.
“This is a key time of year to check for zebra mussels and other invasive species, especially when removing docks and boat lifts that have been stationary in the water all season,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “It helps a lot when property owners, lake associations and lake service provider businesses contact the DNR if they think they’ve found an invasive species.”
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 an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have discovered an invasive species that has not already been confirmed in the 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.
More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.