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Zebra mussels confirmed in Buchanan Lake in Otter Tail County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Buchanan Lake in Ottertail.

Zebra Mussels
If you find zebra mussels or other invasive species in a Minnesota Lake, contact the Minnesota DNR.
Perham Focus file photo
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PERHAM — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Buchanan Lake, in the city of Ottertail in Otter Tail County.

A lake property owner contacted the DNR after finding an adult zebra mussel attached to a native mussel shell. A DNR invasive species specialist found an adult zebra mussel shortly after entering the water near the public access, about one mile from the site of the initial report.

Whether or not a lake has any invasive species, Minnesota law requires people to:

  • Clean watercraft, trailers, and equipment to remove aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
  • Drain all water and leave drain plugs out during transport.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
  • Never release bait, plants, or aquarium pets into Minnesota waters.
  • Dry docks, lifts, and rafts for 21 days before moving them from one water body to another.

These additional steps reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species:

  • Decontaminate watercraft and equipment. Find free stations on the  courtesy decontamination page of the DNR website  ( mndnr.gov/Decon ).
  • Spray with high-pressure water or rinse with very hot water — 120 degrees for at least two minutes or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds.
  • Dry watercraft and equipment for at least five days before using in another water body.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause damage to water intake pipes.
People should contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist ( mndnr.gov/Invasives/AIS/Contacts.html ) if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species. More information is available on the aquatic invasive species page of the DNR website ( mndnr.gov/AIS ).

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