Invasive zebra mussels have made their way into a Wright County lake in what the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources called the first new-lake confirmation of 2017.
The Cedar Lake Conservation Club discovered one adult zebra mussel attached to a stick in 3 feet of water at the Schroeder’s County Park public access point on Cedar Lake, near Annandale. The club then reported its findings to the DNR.
The club found the mussel during a search for starry stonewort, another invasive species, in the lake, the DNR said. No stonewort was found.
DNR officials say the club’s early reporting makes possible a treatment pilot project. Such projects help to prevent the spread of an invasive species by treating isolated populations before they have the chance to spread.
The DNR plans to survey the lake to see how far out the mussel population may extend.
Signs have been added around the lake to notify boaters of the presence of zebra mussels and prevent their spread. To reduce their spread, boaters are urged to clean all aquatic plants and invasive species from their boats, drain all water from their watercrafts and place unwanted bait in the trash.
According to the DNR, zebra mussels have been found in less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s lakes.