Invasive species found near boat landing
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in East Leaf Lake, near Henning in Otter Tail County.
A lake property owner contacted the Minnesota DNR after finding zebra mussels on equipment being removed from East Leaf Lake for the season. A Minnesota DNR invasive species specialist found five zebra mussels on a dock at the public access, about one-half mile from the location of the initial report.
“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,” Minnesota DNR Invasive Species Unit Supervisor Kelly Pennington said.
Lake property owners should carefully look for invasive species 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.
Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, Minnesota law requires people to:
Clean watercraft, trailers and equipment to remove aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
• Drain all water and leave drain plugs out during transport.
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
• Never release bait, plants or aquarium pets into Minnesota waters.
• Dry docks, lifts and rafts for 21 days before moving them from one water body to another.
These additional steps reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species:
• Decontaminate watercraft and equipment – find free stations on the courtesy decontamination webpage of the Minnesota DNR website (mndnr.gov/decon).
• Spray with high-pressure water or rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
• Dry watercraft and equipment for at least five days before using in another water body.
People should contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist (mndnr.gov/invasives/ais/contacts.html) if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that was not already known to be in the water body.
More information is available on the aquatic invasive species webpage of the Minnesota DNR website (www.mndnr.gov/ais).