Minnesota Waters Affected by Invasive Species


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has updated its website to show the additional lakes and sections of rivers that were designated as waters infested with invasive species during the summer and fall.

?The continued spread of aquatic invasive species highlights the urgency for increased awareness and vigilance by people moving water-related equipment such as boats, docks, boat lifts and water toys,? said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species prevention coordinator. ?Extra effort is needed to clean, drain and dry all equipment to prevent further spread from infested waters.?

Now is the time when boats, docks and lifts are being removed from lakes and moved to off-site areas. ?Inspecting boats and docks this time of year is also a good way to monitor for new infestations of zebra mussels,? Rendall said.

The designations and associated regulations are intended to help contain the aquatic invasive species present in the designated waters.

Here is a recap of the lakes and bodies of water that have been added to the list:

Zebra mussels: Six water bodies have been designated as infested with zebra mussels. They include Rose Lake in Otter Tail County, where zebra mussels were discovered in late September; Brophy Lake, which is part of a chain of lakes that were previously designated near Alexandria; and four lakes downstream ? Cowdry (Cowdrey), Lottie (Taylor), North Union Lake (Union) and Stoney (Stony). (Lake Irene in Douglas County, a recently confirmed infestation, will be designated in a subsequent DNR Commissioner?s order.)

Eurasian watermilfoil: Seven additional waters have been confirmed to have Eurasian watermilfoil. They are: Clearwater in Crow Wing County; Circle Lake in Rice County; Otter and Sylvia lakes in Stearns County; and Locke, John and Silver lakes in Wright County.

Faucet snails: Two lakes ? First Crow Wing and Second Crow Wing ? and an additional portion of the Crow Wing River in Hubbard County were designated as infested because of the presence of faucet snails. The snail has been linked to waterfowl deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish, Bowstring Lake and the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.

Spiny waterfleas: Two waters were added in the vicinity of Lake of the Woods because spiny waterfleas are present. Spiny waterfleas can spread when boats, fishing or bait harvesting gear become contaminated with egg-laden females or when water from the infested lakes and rivers is transported. They can collect in masses, sticking to fishing lines, downrigger cables and anchor lines. The masses can resemble gelatin or cotton batting with tiny black spots, which are the creatures? eyes or eggs.

See list of infested waters.

Invasive Species Alert signs are posted at public water accesses to indicate these are infested waters. More waters may be designated this fall if they are determined to be infested.

Once designated as infested waters, state regulations apply to activities at those waters to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels to other waters. The transport of water from infested waters is prohibited. Bait harvest is prohibited at infested waters.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of several aquatic hitchhikers, such as zebra mussels.

The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment:

  • Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, snails, spiny waterfleas and mud from boats, trailers and equipment before leaving the water access.
  • Drain water from bilges, live wells and bait containers before leaving the water access.
  • Dry boats and equipment for five days, or spray with high pressure and hot water before transporting to another water body.

For more news on regulations in your region, click here.

For more news related to the environment, click here.

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