The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Long Lake, near Park Rapids in Hubbard County, and Pickerel Lake, near Maine in Otter Tail County.
A trained invasive species detector found a single zebra mussel on a plant rake when conducting routine sampling on Long Lake. A subsequent dive search revealed two adult zebra mussels near the south public access and fishing pier on Long Lake. A DNR invasive species specialist said the specimens were breeding adults that were likely in the lake prior to this year.
The Pickerel Lake report was filed by an Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office deputy after a lake user sent him photos of a zebra mussel attached to a native clam in the lake. DNR invasive species specialists conducted two follow-up searches and found a single adult zebra mussel, one and one-quarter inch in length, about a half-mile from the location of the original report.
“It’s helpful that lake users contact us when they find what might be a new invasive species to a lake,” said DNR Invasive Species Unit supervisor Heidi Wolf. “Early detection is important, because it can help prevent spread to other lakes.”