Single zebra mussel confirmed in Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet, where one adult zebra mussel on a boat cover was recovered from the bottom of the lake. (Brian Peterson photo)

The Minnesota DNR has confirmed that a single zebra mussel was removed from Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, the agency said in a new release Thursday, Sept. 21. Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) staff reported one adult zebra mussel on a boat cover recovered from the bottom of the lake.

No additional zebra mussels were found during 67 hours of diving, snorkeling and wading searches involving the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, MPRB, two MPRB contractors and the DNR. Lake Harriet will be added to the Infested Waters List for zebra mussels, with the provision that it may be removed from the list if future surveys continue to show no zebra mussels in the lake.

“We’re grateful that no zebra mussels were found during the extensive dive, snorkel and wading search of Lake Harriet,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “While we regret that Lake Harriet will be added to the Infested Waters List because one zebra mussel was confirmed, we’re hopeful that the lake may be removed from the list if future searches continue to show no zebra mussels in the lake.”

DNR invasive species specialist Keegan Lund said the popular Twin Cities lake will be carefully monitored the rest of this season and next year, but no treatment is necessary at this time. Lund said individual zebra mussels sometimes die after they are brought into a new lake, before they become established.

“There is a common misperception that zebra mussels are everywhere and that their spread is inevitable. The reality is, of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes, fewer than 250, about 1.8 percent, are listed as infested with zebra mussels. More Minnesotans than ever before are following our state’s invasive species laws,” Lund said.

In a separate news release Thursday, the DNR also confirmed zebra mussels in Lake Marion, in the city of Lakeville, in Dakota County.

Five adult zebra mussels were found at the public access by a lake consulting business as part of an early detection monitoring program conducted for the city of Lakeville. The city may apply for a pilot project treatment after a more thorough search of the lake is completed.

People should contact an area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake. More information is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.

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