It’s not that hard!
A DNR press release earlier this week illustrated what’s
apparently becoming a growing problem: People transporting zebra
mussels from one body of water to another via boat lifts.
To which I ask: How on Earth could that happen?
I don’t pretend to know exactly what happened in either case –
on Rose Lake in Otter Tail County and on Lake Irene in Douglas
County – and active investigations are under way.
But this much I know: As I’ve written before, my family has a
cabin on a lake infested with zebra mussels. The first fall they
were there, there weren’t a lot of them, but there was no way we
could miss even the handful of them attached to our dock poles and
boat lifts. The next fall, everything was covered.
You couldn’t lift the boat lift without crunching them, and all
underwater crevices were full of the things. And it’s not like they
blend in with the color of a boat lift, either.
Oddly enough, this fall the number of bigger zebra mussels on
our equipment seemed to have gone down, but the little guys were
everywhere. And even though they were young-of-the-year, you still
couldn’t miss them.
Which brings me back to my main question: How do you not notice
a pile of zebra mussels on a boat lift? I have trouble believing
it’s even possible, but that’s just me.
The fact the DNR has been notified – and notified relatively
quickly, for that matter – of two infested boat lifts in lakes that
previously didn’t have zebra mussels shows that people are aware of
the problem and have their eyes open. That’s good.
But it also illustrates another reality: No matter how many
people are paying attention and doing the right thing, it only
takes one irresponsible action to move these things from one lake
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