Lake groups join together against zebra mussels

  • Updated: January 28, 2012 - 8:33 PM

Zebra mussels clustered on a tree branch that had fallen into Rice Lake near Brainerd, Minn.

Photo: David Brewster, Star Tribune

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Eight lake organizations concerned about the spread of zebra mussels have created the West Metro Lakes Alliance to focus more attention and funding on the problem. The lakes include Minnetonka, Medicine, Fish, Independence, Rice, Cedar Island, Gleason and Sarah.

David Haas, president of Fish Lake Area Lake Association, said the threat of invasive mussels and plants is urgent, and groups are talking with local governments about what they can do in 2012 to increase inspections and reduce risk. "We're really looking at trying to find some solutions that will help guard and protect our lakes until the state can formulate a more far-reaching, robust plan for the entire state," he said.

Zebra mussels can change the ecology of lakes and rivers, damage boats and other property, and lower property values.

Alliance members have invited legislators and city officials to a Feb. 8 meeting in Plymouth to discuss strategies and funding to move forward.

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