Tuesday, August 18, 2020

We need Your Individual Help! [The 2nd of 3 Posts]

What does it mean to live with Zebra Mussels?

Every infested lake has a different experience with zebra mussels.

Zebra mussels can:

  • clog irrigation intakes and other pipes
  • attach to boat motors and boat hulls, reducing performance and efficiency 
  • attach to rocks, swim rafts and ladders where swimmers can cut their feet on the  mussel shells 
  • attach to and smother native mussels 
  • eat tiny food particles that they filter out of the water, which can reduce available food for larval fish and other animals

Even though the water clarity can improve, that is not always desirable for the habitat.

Things to do now and as you close up for the season.
  1. Check your docks (behind the wheels too), boat lifts, shoreline, rocks, sticks, native clams, ropes on rafts, or any hard place in the water that is in the shadows most of the day.  When you find them call or text our certified AIS detectors, Sharon Natzel  at 763-355-7908 or Jim Blodgett at 651-395-9317.  Remember that owners are not liable if a zebra mussel is found on their equipment.
  2. Make sure your boats are on lifts or at least lift the lower unit of the mot

    or to keep zebra mussels from getting established in the motors.
  3. Wear water shoes when swimming to protect your feet.  Zebra Mussels are very sharp.
  4. Check shallow areas for native clams.  Make a note of how many you find.  Then next year check the same area.  How many clams are still there?  Zebra Mussels colonize on native clams to take advantage of their food intake.

Reference Articles for more information:

✔️ A recent article in the Duluth News Tribune: 
Zebra mussel fears mellow for some as prevention efforts slow spread
✔️ University of Minnesota Zebra Mussel Research Center (MAISRC):
U of M Zebra Mussel Key Findings, Accomplishments, and Ongoing Research
✔️ Pelican Lake (infested in 2009 with zebra mussels) has a variety of articles concerning Zebra Mussels on their website:  https://www.pelicanlakemn.org/education.html

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