May Take Several Years for Property Owner to Notice Effect of Zebra Mussels in Long Lake

May Take Several Years for Property Owner to Notice Effect of Zebra Mussels in Long Lake Click to Enlarge

DETROIT LAKES (KDLM) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed a report of Zebra Mussels in Long Lake, near Detroit Lakes, but residents might not notice much of a change to the lake for at least a few years.

Karl Koenig, Becker County AIS Coordinator says, "For folks on the lake or who use the lake, it may be a couple more years before the [Zebra Mussel] population is really abundant enough for them to be noticeable. Given how well Zebra Mussels have done in other lakes close to Long Lake, it's likely their numbers will increase pretty significantly and level off 5 or 6 years from now."

The DNR searched Long Lake after a lake user reported a single zebra mussel. DNR invasive species specialists found two adult zebra mussels on the opposite side of the lake from the original report.

Koenig says the science to curb the effects of Aquatic Invaders takes years, "the science moves ahead pretty slowly - in a small contained area, some tools to control Zebra Mussels have been improved, but in a lake like Long Lake we're still years out from any tools to be effective in a large body of water."

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.

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