Zebra mussels confirmed in Bowstring Lake

DNR officials have confirmed zebra mussels in Bowstring Lake, which is mostly on the Leech Lake Reservation within Itasca County.

According to a release, two adult zebra mussels were found, attached to old, submerged tires in separate locations outside reservation waters on the northeast side of the lake. Invasive species specialists determined that at least one of the mussels had been in the lake for more than one year.

A subsequent survey of the entire north shore revealed a number of adult zebra mussels.

Their distribution is described as “widespread but not numerous,” which suggests the zebra mussels were detected early.

Waters from Bowstring Lake flows into Sand Lake, and eventually into the Bigfork River and north to Hudson Bay.

Sand Lake was confirmed to have the invasive specie in 2013, but flow from Sand Lake into Bowstring is not common, according to the release.

Boaters are reminded to follow the laws of cleaning their watercraft, draining all water from the watercraft, and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:

  • 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.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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