Zebra mussels confirmed in Otter Tail County’s Lake Lida
PELICAN RAPIDS — 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’s 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.
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.
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.
On Tuesday, the DNR announced that the recent discovery of adult zebra mussels in Cross Lake – part of the 14-lake Whitefish chain of lakes north of Brainerd in Crow Wing County – has been confirmed. Preliminary searches of connected waters have resulted in the confirmation of additional zebra mussels in Lower Hay Lake and suggest the infestation is not isolated to Cross Lake.
The 14 lakes in the Whitefish chain will be designated as infested waters.