July 19, 2018 - Zebra mussel confirmed in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County

Lake is connected to two others with zebra mussels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of a zebra mussel in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County. East Loon Lake is between and connected to East Spirit Lake and Sybil Lake, both of which were confirmed as having zebra mussels in 2016. 

A lake user contacted the DNR after finding a single adult zebra mussel in East Loon Lake, which DNR specialists confirmed through photos and the specimen itself. No additional zebra mussels were found during a follow-up survey.

“It’s helpful that an alert individual contacted us when they suspected they’d found a zebra mussel,” DNR assistant invasive species specialist Mark Ranweiler said. “Because they kept the zebra mussel, we were able to confirm the species identification.”

Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean watercraft and trailers of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.

More information is available at mndnr.gov/ais.



July 19, 2018 - DNR open house highlights Lake Vermilion northern pike regulation

Anglers can play a role in a proposed fishing regulation change for northern pike on Lake Vermilion that would simplify northern pike regulations by bringing them in line with the new statewide zone regulation starting in May 2019. 

Anyone who wants to ask questions and give input about the regulation proposal can attend an open house scheduled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Tower Civic Center, 402 Pine St., in Tower, Minn.

Lake Vermilion northern pike are currently managed under a special regulation that requires all pike from 24 to 36 inches long to be released and only one fish over 36 inches is allowed in a three-fish possession limit.

Under the northeast pike zone regulation, all fish from 30 to 40 inches long must be released and no more than one over 40 inches is allowed to be kept in a two fish possession limit.

Spearers would be allowed to take any size pike but would be allowed only one fish over 26 inches in the two fish possession limit.

“We are interested in the public’s preference about this because either regulation will help maintain the size of pike anglers enjoy on Lake Vermilion,” said Edie Evarts, Tower area fisheries supervisor. “Northern pike have done well and average size has increased under the special regulation that began in 2003. But a shift to the statewide zone regulation would simplify regulations while still protecting a portion of pike.”

Public comment on the pike regulation can be submitted through Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Questions or comments may be directed to the Tower area fisheries office, 650 Highway 169, Tower, MN 55790, by calling 218-300-7803, or emailing edie.evarts@state.mn.us.

Additionally, an open house about this proposal and other fishing regulations under review is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Staff will take comments on this proposal and other fishing regulations under review around the state.



July 19, 2018 - Zebra mussels confirmed in Bay Lake, Crow Wing County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Bay Lake, near Deerwood in Crow Wing County.

Last fall, a lakeshore owner reported finding the shell of a dead zebra mussel, but additional searches with DNR zebra mussel detection dogs could not confirm the presence of live specimens. Recently, a guest of another lakeshore owner reported finding a live specimen that a DNR invasive species specialist confirmed to be an adult zebra mussel. Additional water sampling showed the presence of veligers and in-lake searches confirmed a reproducing population of zebra mussels in Bay Lake.

“Most of the new zebra mussel reports are brought to our attention by people who are out using Minnesota’s public waters in the summer months,” said DNR invasive species specialist Tim Plude. “We appreciate the vigilance of folks reporting them to the DNR, as well as the partnerships we have with lakeshore owners.”

Signs at lake accesses have been updated to alert boaters to the presence of zebra mussels.

Zebra mussels are transported over land by human activity, and lake users can prevent their spread. It’s an important reminder to follow the state’s invasive species laws:
• Clean watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

The DNR also recommends boaters take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody:
• Spray with high-pressure water.
• Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds).
• Dry for leave least five days.

When transporting water-related equipment such as boat lifts, docks, swim rafts or associated equipment, Minnesota law requires a 21-day drying time to destroy attached organisms, before placing that equipment in another lake.

Zebra mussels are an invasive species that can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species.

More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.



July 16, 2018 - Outdoor skills workshop for women scheduled for Sept. 14-16

Women can hike to spectacular views of autumn colors and Lake Superior on the horizon during a three-day fall workshop that teaches a variety of outdoor skills through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

Getting to that view includes 330 feet of elevation gain on the Superior Hiking Trail – the kind of physical and mental challenge known well to Jo Swanson, trail development director for the Superior Hiking Trail Association and the keynote speaker for the fall workshop.

“One of my themes is empowerment – learning to overcome fears of adventuring in the outdoors,” Swanson said. “We live in a culture of fear and people react strongly when women go on outdoors adventures, especially when they go alone. The truth is that with planning and preparation, the outdoors can be a very safe place.”

The fall workshop is Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, in a new location this year at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center near Finland, Minn. Attendees will hear from Swanson and Minnesota state park naturalists. Session topics include Ojibwe heritage, Voyageurs, archery, canoeing, and the animals, plants and geology of the North Woods.

Linda Bylander, coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, said that along with the new location, the workshop offers a new selection of classes this year.

“Women who attend the fall workshop gain a whole range of experiences in a supportive environment,” Bylander said. “We chose dates when the fall colors should provide a beautiful backdrop.

The workshop is designed for women ages 18 and up but girls ages 14 to 17 are welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Visit mndnr.gov/bow for more information and to register.



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Zebra mussel confirmed in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County

Lake is connected to two others with zebra mussels The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of a zebra mussel in East Loon Lake in Otter Tail County. East Loon Lake is between and connected to East Spirit Lake and Sybil La...

Read More