The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed reports of zebra mussels in Lake Minnie-Belle, near Litchfield in Meeker County.
A DNR-trained watercraft inspector reported finding a zebra mussel on a settlement sampler deployed on a private dock on the southeast side of Lake Minnie-Belle. Samplers are solid surfaces placed in the water that people can regularly check for attached zebra mussels.
The inspector subsequently found a second zebra mussel on the wheel of a dock, a third on a settlement sampler on the northeast side of the lake, and a fourth attached to a boat lift.
DNR aquatic invasive species specialist Eric Katzenmeyer says “Given that zebra mussels have been found at two sites in different areas of the lake, it is likely that there is an established zebra mussel population in Lake Minnie-Belle.”
The DNR reminds lake property owners to carefully check boats and trailers, docks and boat lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage.