Zebra mussels confirmed in Cass County lake

DNR officials confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Pine Mountain Lake near Backus.

According to a release, a swimmer first notified the DNR after finding a zebra mussel attached to a native mussel on a sandbar along the southern shores.

Invasive species specialists found three more zebra mussels during a snorkel search of the area.

“It’s helpful when lake users contact us if they find what might be an invasive species that are new to a lake,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor.

“Early detection is important because it can help prevent spread to other lakes.”

Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

People should contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.


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 son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.


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