Scuba divers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have found zebra mussels in Pelican Lake in Crow Wing County near Brainerd. They were found in two separate locations during a search of the lake on July 9.
The search was a follow-up to an intensive search last November after a single juvenile zebra mussel was found on a dock. The November search of the lake failed to turn up any additional mussels. DNR staff also asked the Pelican Lake Association to notify its members to report any suspect mussels, but no other zebra mussels were found in 2011.
Educational and enforcement efforts to limit the spread of invasive species will increase at the lake due to its designation as infested waters. Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the state. AIS include, but are not limited to, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas. Boaters and anglers need to continue to take extra precautions when using this popular lake as zebra mussels could pose risks for other waters.
Boaters are required by law to:
• Remove aquatic plants and zebra mussels from boats and trailers.
• Drain all water, including pulling the drain plug, open water draining devises, and draining bilges and live wells; the drain plug must be removed or open when transporting boat on public roads.
• Drain bait buckets when exiting lakes that have been designated as infested with spiny waterfleas or zebra mussels; anglers can keep unused bait when leaving infested waters if they replace the water with tap or spring water.
• It is also recommended that people spray or rinse boats with high pressure and/or hot water, or let them dry thoroughly for five days before transporting to another body of water.
More information about aquatic invasive species is available on DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.