Zebra mussels have been found in Maple Lake in Douglas County, and several lakes downstream now will be designated as infested waters because of the likelihood zebra mussels will spread there, too,

DNR staff searched several docks, lifts and near shore areas in Maple Lake and found numerous small zebra mussels attached to several pieces of equipment in the north end of the lake. Further searches found additional small zebra mussels at the south end of the lake.

While no zebra mussels were found in Lake Reno or Turtle and Long lakes, these lakes will be designated as infested waters, the DNR said, because water from Maple Lake can flow into Lake Reno, and both Turtle and Long lakes are located downstream from Maple Lake.

 Searches will occur on Lake Reno later this fall when docks and boat lifts are pulled from its shores.

The designations mean boaters can expect an increased presence of decontamination units and crews on these lakes.

“These recent discoveries reinforce the importance of practicing proper aquatic invasive species preventative methods,” said Joe Eisterhold, DNR invasive species specialist at Itasca State Park. “We want to remind folks to inspect all water-related equipment when it is removed from the water at the end of the season and report any suspected zebra mussel discoveries to the local DNR area office.”

The DNR said lakeshore owners should also keep in mind that moving docks and boat lifts from one lake to another is a serious issue. Boat lifts and docks are of particular concern because they sit in the water for extended periods, giving adult zebra mussels a greater opportunity to attach themselves.

State law requires that all boat lifts, docks and swim rafts removed from any lake, river or stream remain out of the water for 21 days before being placed into another water body. 

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