Zebra Mussels

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 lake shore residents and re-creationists. 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. Zebra Mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes in 1988 and in Duluth/Superior Harbor in 1989. They have spread throughout the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River from Brained downstream, and are now in other rivers and inland lakes. Zebra mussels are a prohibited invasive species which means import, possession, transport, and introduction into the wild is prohibited.

Zebra Mussels were discovered on Clearwater Lake on July 5, 2015.  The MN DNR came out on July 8th to investigate.  They did find zebra mussels attached to clam shells.  They ranged in size from 1.4 cm to 2.6 cm.  As of Sept 2016, it appears that they are spreading fairly quickly. They've been reported at multiple locations in the East Basin.

Currently there are no options for treatment against the Zebra Mussels. 

Star & Tribune Article - Zebra Mussels - Infested Waters 7-30-17

Kare 11 Article on continued project on Lake Mtka 7-12-17

KSTP Article on new method being tried to kill Zebra Mussels 7-12-17

Researchers continue testing new treatment methods 7-12-17

Star & Tribune Article regarding Zebra Mussels 5-13-17 

Zebra Mussel Treatment Report on Lake Minnewashta Bay 9-28-16 


Video on Zebra Mussels


Dock just taken out of Clearwater Lake with Zebra Mussels 

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