Ramping Up the Battle Against Zebra Mussels
The battle against zebra mussels and other invasive species will ramp up this summer.
Thanks to 11 grants, Hennepin County and the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission will be able to increase efforts against aquatic enemies.
The timing is good because in a few weeks Minnesota’s frozen lakes will melt and boats will return to the land of sky blue waters.
“Zebra mussels can be transported if they’re attached to boats or within the water supply of the boats,” said Brian Vlach of the Three Rivers Park District.
Zebra mussels and other invasive species are the ultimate freeloaders – hitching a free ride on your boat, jet ski or even your shoes.
“The presence of zebra mussels is definitely a concern,” Vlach said.
That’s why there is a combined effort to crack down on aquatic barnacles such as zebra mussels.
Taking Aim at Invasive Species
Medicine Lake is getting a decontamination unit that will cleanse watercrafts when exiting the lake.
“The recent discovery of zebra mussels in Medicine Lake increases the overall risk of infestation to other lakes within the area,” Vlach said.
Medicine, Fish and Lower Twin Lake will also have increased watercraft inspection hours. It’s part of an effort to combat the spread of this aquatic problem.
“It has impacts not only on the native plant community in the lake itself,” Vlach said. “It can have impacts on the fish community on the lake.”
More inspectors should help boaters remember to do their part by cleaning and drying their boat before and after using it.
“Make sure that you check your boat trailer thoroughly as well as your boats before you launch them in any new water bodies,” said Vlach.
Everyone needs to chip in to try and prevent this from getting worse because one bad boat can ruin an entire lake.
“One boat can result in a new infestation,” Vlach said.
Getting more boat inspectors on boat ramps and adding the decontamination equipment at Medicine Lake were high priority items for Hennepin County.