Zebra mussels confirmed in Red Lake

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– Zebra mussel larvae has been confirmed in Red Lake.

According to a release from the state Department of Natural Resources, biologists from the Red Lake Nation gathered the samples last summer. Eight veligers were found in a zooplankton sample taken in the middle of Upper Red Lake.

Veligers are indicative of a reproducing population, but no adult zebra mussels have yet been found.

Additional waters that are connected to Upper and Lower Red Lakes may be added to the infested waters list after further review.

Bruce Anspach with Beltrami County Environmental Services says with zebra mussels found in both Lake Bemidji and Red Lake in 2018, it is very important for boaters to follow Minnesota law, by cleaning their watercraft and trailers, draining all water by removing drain plugs and disposing of unwanted bait in the trash.

Beltrami County has a decontamination station at Middle School Drive, and there is no charge for a hot water wash.

Zebra mussels, an aquatic invasive species, can drastically change the waters they infest.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers and reduce the performance of boat motors. Invasive species change the delicate ecosystem of a lake, and what is destroyed can seldom be saved.

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