Zebra mussels found in Roseville’s Lake McCarrons

Zebra mussels, an invasive species that can cause a number of issues in Minnesota lakes, were found in Lake McCarrons as announced Aug. 22. (courtesy of Creative Commons)

The Capitol Region Watershed District on Aug. 22 said zebra mussels had been discovered in Lake McCarrons in Roseville.

The watershed district said that a resident trained to identify aquatic invasive species found the mussels near the lake’s public access. The state’s Department of Natural Resources responded and found six more zebra mussels both north and south of the landing.

The DNR also said it found signs of natural zebra mussel reproduction in the lake, according to the watershed district.

Zebra mussels are native to Eastern Europe and western Russia, according to the DNR. They can cause a number of issues in Minnesota lakes, such as encrusting boats and motors creating performance issues and forcing repairs, cutting the feet of swimmers and pets, and lead to plant growth which decreases water clarity. The can also kill off native species of mussels.

Zebra mussels can be spread by water-related equipment and can also attach to aquatic plants, according to the DNR. Microscopic zebra mussel larvae can survive in water in bait buckets, live wells and elsewhere. 

Minnesota law requires that watercrafts are cleaned to prevent the spread of invasive species and that all water is drained by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport. Unwanted bait should be disposed of in the trash and dry docks, lifts, rafts and other equipment should be dried for at least 21 days before going into a new body of water.

Per the watershed district, a single female zebra mussel can produce between 100,000 and 500,000 eggs per year. 

The watershed district said it, along with the DNR and Ramsey County, will conduct follow-up surveys to see how widespread zebra mussels are in Lake McCarrons.

Earlier in August the county-run swimming beach at Lake McCarrons reopened after a month-long closure due to elevated levels of bacteria in the water.

Zebra mussels were first found in the Great Lakes in 1988, and confirmed in the Duluth/Superior Harbor a year later, according to the DNR.


—Mike Munzenrider

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