On Controlling Aquatic Invasives

Look for Minnesota DNR to push policies regarding aquatic
invasive species such as milfoil and zebra mussels during the
legislative session that kicked off Tuesday.

Included will be enforcement provisions and other measures
designed to stop the spread of such species. Such efforts are sure
to be met with groans and sighs from some who believe they’re
fruitless, or who believe invasives aren’t a big deal.

Before last fall, I probably would have pooh-poohed such
activities. Then we took our dock and boat lift out of the

By way of background, my family has a cabin on Lake Carlos, which
is part of the Alexandria Chain of Lakes. During the summer of
2009, zebra mussels were found in the chain’s Lake L’Homme

Last October, our neighbors took their floating raft out of the
water. The bottom was caked with zebra mussels. The next day, we
started taking out the dock. The bottoms of the poles were covered.
But it was nothing compared to the boat lift.

Nearly every underwater surface had zebra mussels on it. We had to
be careful where we put our hands to lift the thing. Our boat lift
has places on either side of it to put wheels. Problem was, the
holes were filled with zebra mussels.

To say the zebra mussels were an irritant is an understatement. But
what worries me is the speed with which they apparently established
themselves. To go from seeing none in 2009 to having equipment
covered in them in 2010 strikes me as reason for concern.

Who knows how they’ll ultimately affect the lakes, but to anyone
who lives or recreates on a lake without them – be thankful.


Categories: Joe Albert

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