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Forum staff reports, Published July 17 2013

Zebra mussels confirmed in Lake Lida near Pelican Rapids

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. – Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Lake Lida, a popular Otter Tail County lake near here, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

DNR crews found two zebra mussels late last week, the release stated. The mussels were found about a half-mile from a private lake access where earlier this month a lakeshore resident found a can with two adult zebra mussels attached to it.

Aquatic invasive species specialist Joe Eisterhold, of the DNR Northwest Region said in the release that the zebra mussel larvae are in the lake and can disperse to new areas downstream. He said the zebra mussels could already be in nearby South Lida and Venstrom lakes.

North Lida, South Lida and Venstrom lakes have been designated by the DNR as infested waters and signs will be posted at all public accesses.

The designation does not mean each lake is confirmed to be infested, but that zebra mussels have been detected in a lake accessible by boat from those accesses so they can easily spread, the release stated.

State-wide fight

Lakes across Minnesota have been fighting the spread of zebra mussels, a hard-shelled clam-looking creature that can quickly multiply and attach to hard surfaces, clogging up the waterways, and boats, anchors and chains.

Lake Latoka in Douglas County near Alexandria has also been designated as infested. A snorkeler found a 3- or 4-year old zebra mussel in the lake earlier this summer, the release stated.

A mussel infestation was also confirmed in Cross Lake, which is part of a 14-lake chain in central Minnesota.

Earlier this year, access points were restricted at Lake Melissa and Lake Sallie to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

“These designations mean that regulations, education and enforcement to limit the spread of invasive species will increase in these waters,” Eisterhold said in the release.