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Product to fight zebra mussels to get another test

ALEXANDRIA — Another trial of a biological weapon against an invasive species threatening Minnesota’s lakes is planned near Alexandria this summer.

In 2012, a trial of Zequanox was conducted on Lake Carlos in Douglas County. The 2013 study planned for Little Lake Darling will determine how effective Zequanox can be at saving native clam species from zebra mussels.

Zequanox is a bacteria that kills mussels but is regarded a safe for fish and other species.

Last year’s trial removed mussels and lake water and treated the water separately from the rest of the lake.

This year’s trial involves quarantining off 5-foot-square sections in Lake Darling where zebra mussels are prevalent. Plastic sheeting will be inserted into the lake in depths of up to 5 feet.

Jim Luoma of the U.S. Geological Survey called last year’s study a success. He said the test on Lake Darling is contingent on weather, but could begin as early as the end of July.

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