Help With Zebra Mussel Monitoring
Zebra Mussel Monitoring
Since the discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Minnetonka in July 2010, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) continues to work with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other agencies as well as local partners to study zebra mussel distribution in Lake Minnetonka and monitor for the presence of the invasive in the other lakes. We need your help to document if and where this invasive species is located. Read more about what the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is doing as a part of its monitoring program.
Zebra mussels are an invasive species. They are small, fingernail-sized mussels that attach to any solid surfaces in water. Adults are 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long and have D-shaped shells with alternating yellow and brownish colored stripes. They are now found in parts of Lake Minnetonka. Zebra mussels can reproduce rapidly, limit recreational activities and alter aquatic ecosystems.
What you can do:
As you prepare for winter, you can help by participating in DNR’s zebra mussel monitoring program. Please check for zebra mussels when removing boats, jet skis, water toys, docks, boat lifts, pumps and other equipment. You can report your zebra mussel findings by submitting your results online.
New laws you need to know about:
This year it will be much more common for people to find zebra mussels attached to boats and equipment in Lake Minnetonka we'd like to make sure you know the rules and make sure you are up to date on the new state laws and procedures related to lakeshore owners and boaters.
Watercraft (Boats, sailboats, personal watercraft) – It is illegal to transport watercraft with zebra mussels attached. If you plan on taking a watercraft out of the water for the winter and transport it to a cleaning and storage location, there is an exception that you can legally transport it with attached zebra mussels if you use and following link for the DNR authorization form.
Water related equipment (e.g., Dock, lifts, rafts) – If you, or a lake service provider, are removing your docks, boat lifts, or other water-related equipment that have zebra mussels attached, you may legally place the equipment on the shore of riparian property of the same lake and return the equipment to the same lake
next spring without cleaning off zebra mussels. If the equipment is being transported to another location off of the lake, it must be cleaned to remove zebra mussels before transport to the new location.