GARRISON -- Zebra mussels have arrived in Lake Mille Lacs, natural resources officials announced last week, but a marina representative is not too concerned yet.
Mike Wachsmuth of Garrison Creek Marina said Saturday, "They just found two so far. I'll be concerned if they find more and more of it."
At the marina there are boats that come and go daily into Lake Mille Lacs and Wachsmuth said a majority of the people practice good boating procedures. He said if the DNR finds more zebra mussels and the water is infested he said everyone on the lake will have to do a better job of boating practices, such as removing any weeds from the boat motor when leaving the lake.
Two zebra mussels were found in separate locations in Lake Mille Lacs last week during a routine dive survey. DNR officials say they are the first zebra mussels to be found in Mille Lacs.
"This is certainly not welcome news, especially given that Mille Lacs is a popular fishing destination," said Gary Montz, the DNR's zebra mussel coordinator. "It is critical that boaters take extra precautions to prevent any spread."
Zebra mussels can harm beaches, clog water intakes, kill native mussels and could interfere with lake food chains. So far, they have not harmed game fish on the Mississippi River, Lake Superior and other Minnesota lakes.
"The presence of two zebra mussels is troubling, but we need to look at more sites to make a decision on the status of the lake," Montz said, adding that DNR divers will continue looking for zebra mussels. The mussels were found on the northwest side of the lake.
To prevent the spread of zebra mussels, DNR officials are asking boaters to remove all aquatic plants, drain water from their boats and wash them with hot water before launching them on other bodies of water.
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