Zebra Mussels

 

A SUMMARY OF NOTES FROM THE MEETING OF VIKING SPORTSMEN re: ZEBRA MUSSELS: ( notes from Sue Engstrom DCLA)
1) He brought four live clams with live zebra mussels attached to their shells.  All were found within 1/2 hour at the Krueger's Creek access on Le Homme Dieu.  They have done prelim searches elsewhere on Le Homme Dieu and in the channel between LHD and Carlos, but didn't find any - yet.

2) By July 13, the Commissioner surely will have listed the following lakes as "infested": Le Homme Dieu, Carlos, Geneva, Victoria, Jesse, Darling and Alvin.  A sign is already posted at those lake accesses - including Arrowwood.

3) Cowdry not likely to be listed because fishing tourneys are not allowed to fish Cowdry, and traffic from Darling to Cowdry isn't significant (according to a resident near the creek??).  The DNR is considering using boulders to block boats trying to enter Cowdry from Darling.

4) Zebras are the only mussel which can attach to a solid surface, so when removing docks, lifts, etc. from the lake, run your hand down the surface to feel for them.

5) Because they attach to solid surfaces, they can clog water intake/outlets on boats, lake pumps, etc.

6) Each adult mussel filters 2 gal of water per day, so eventually the lake might be clearer - but not "cleaner" because the mussel accumulates contaminants which then get concentrated up the food chain.  They out-compete small fish for food, suffocate and starve the native clams, and are sharp on wading feet. Because the water is clearer, aquatic plants can grow at deeper depths than normal (Eurasian milfoil, etc.).

7) They have no predators except sheepshead drum and diving ducks.

8) The only way to prevent boats/trailers from spreading zebra mussels is to a. empty all water from bilges, live wells, bait buckets (bring fresh water to replace if you want to keep fish/bait alive when you leave a lake), b. dry the boat/trailer for 4-5 days before entering another lake, or pressure wash at 140 degrees.

9) The Commissioner has been asked to provide funding for additional watercraft inspectors at accesses on the chain.

10) Organizers of fishing tourneys will have to ensure that NO WATER leaves infested lakes.

11) As of July 13, the new laws will be enforced on the chain:

a. no water or plants may leave the lake (watering your yard will still be OK). If your trailer is dripping water down the road as you drive away, you will be tagged.
b. trapping bait will be prohibited - no water animal may be removed from the lake for bait or for aquatic farms.
c. equipment used for commercial fishing must be dried or frozen before being used in un-infested lakes.

Nathan Olson
218-739-7576 Ext.259

nathan.olson@state.mn.us