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Zebra Mussel Prevention

Cedar Lake Conservation Club

​Annandale-Maple Lake, MN

Zebra Mussel Prevention

 

 

What are Zebra Mussels?

Zebra Mussels are an aquatic invasive species.  Zebra mussels are small, fingernail-sized animals that attach to solid surfaces in water. Adults are 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. They have D-shaped shells with alternating yellow and brownish colored stripes. One female zebra mussels can produce 100,000- 500,000 eggs per year! It is the only freshwater mussel that can attach to objects. They are native to Eastern Europe and Western Russia and were brought over to the Great Lakes in ballast water of freighters.


Zebra mussels can cause problems for lakeshore residents and recreationists. They have the potential to filter large quantities of plankton from a lake and alter its delicate ecosystem. Homeowners that take lake water to water lawns can have their intakes clogged.  

 

Zebra mussels will attach to boats/motors, nets, docks, swim platforms, boat lifts, and can be moved on any of these objects. While mussel larvae can be present in bilge water and live wells, research shows that Zebra mussels are most likely to be transported by clinging to weeds or on a dock, lift, or swim platform.

 

The threat of an infestation is close to Cedar; lakes in Wright County that are infested include Clearwater Lake, Lake John and Lake Sylvia.









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What are we doing?

On Cedar, we have robust Zebra mussel monitoring with over 30 monitors. Cedar is also part of the Wright County Coalition of Lakes program to monitor zebra mussels.  We conducted a professional snorkel/dive search in August of 2016. Over a dozen volunteers assisted with this search. We examined 1,720 feet of shoreline and over 3,000 objects. The search revealed no zebra mussels.

 

The current treatment strategies for zebra mussels require the infestation to be in the very early stages—usually within the first 9 to 12 month.  Robust and regular monitoring is required to catch the zebra infestations at this earlier stage. This includes all residents be on the look-out for zebra mussels.