Zebra mussels found on irrigation equipment on Leek and Trowbridge Lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Leek Lake and Trowbridge Lake in Otter Tail County. Leek and Trowbridge are directly connected lakes.

A lake property owner contacted the DNR after finding two suspected zebra mussels on irrigation equipment being removed for the season. A DNR invasive species specialist found adult zebra mussels attached to equipment in both lakes. 

“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.

As a reminder, Minnesota 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 (link is external) to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

There are important prevention considerations 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.

• Anyone paid to remove boats, docks, lifts and other water-related equipment must be DNR trained and permitted. A list of DNR-permitted lake service provider businesses (link is external) is available on the DNR website.

• Contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist (link is external) if an invasive species is discovered that has not already been confirmed in that waterbody.