WRIGHT COUNTY, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says zebra mussels have been confirmed in Pleasant Lake, which is near Annandale in Wright County.
A DNR inspection found many young zebra mussels on the south and west sides of the lake. Pleasant Lake is also one of 16 Minnesota lakes where the invasive algae starry stonewort has been confirmed.
Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut swimmers' feet, reduce the performance of boat motors, and damage water intake pipes, the DNR said.
The mussels, along with other invasive species, can spread when people move boats and other equipment to different bodies of water. The DNR said it's important to check boats, docks and other equipment for the invasive species -- especially this time of year. Several recent zebra mussel confirmations were first reported when people removed docks, boats and boat lifts.
Minnesota law requires that docks and lifts remain out of the water for at least 21 days after removal from a waterbody before they can be placed into another body of water.
Aquatic invasive species can be small and hard to see, but the DNR said you can still make sure they aren't hitching a ride:
- Spray with high-pressure water.
- Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
- Dry for at least five days.
Anyone who transports a dock or lift from a shoreline property to another location for storage or repair may need a permit, to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Whether or not a lake is listed for any invasive species, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:
- Clean their watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
- Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
If you think you've found zebra mussels or another invasive species in a lake where they haven't been confirmed, contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist.