Zebra Mussels Found in Lake Near Boundary Waters

Zebra mussels sampled by Fond du Lac biologists on Crooked Lake
Zebra mussels sampled by Fond du Lac biologists on Crooked Lake (Via MN DNR)

The discovery of non-native invasive mussels in Crooked Lake, in the Superior National Forest near Finland, Minnesota, has resulted in the lake being listed as infested.

Located just 10 miles from the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the find represents the nearest known location of the mussels to the wilderness. The previous closest site was a reclaimed mine pit in Gilbert, 70 miles west, reports the Star Tribune.

The mussels were originally found by fisheries biologists from the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa. The discovery resulted in an extensive search of part of the lake, but no more mussels were found. Nonetheless, the lake will be designated infested, which will trigger the posting of signs at lake accesses.

“Although we weren’t able to locate additional adult zebra mussels on the first survey, designating the lake now as an infested water body is the right thing to do,” said Rich Rezanka, DNR invasive species specialist. “Lake users should follow the AIS protocols every time, at every lake, as if it were infested – whether signs are posted, or not.”

Zebra mussels are harmful to boaters, lakes and fish populations. They can clog boat engines and water intakes, encrust docks and beaches with sharp shells, and filter nutrients out of water, leaving less food for fish.

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