The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed zebra mussels in Ten Mile Lake in west-central Minnesota’s Otter Tail County.

Staff at Ten Mile Lake Resort contacted the DNR when they found suspected zebra mussels on a pontoon boat being removed from the lake. DNR invasive species specialists surveyed the area and collected 16 zebra mussels from other equipment in the same area.

During a broader search, DNR staff located one zebra mussel attached to the dock wheel at the public water access, approximately 1.3 miles from the reported location. All of the zebra mussels were less than one-quarter inch in length.

Because of a navigable waterway and connected waters, the DNR is considering whether connected waters will be added to the Infested Waters List.

As boat owners begin taking boats and equipment out of the water for the season, the DNR reminds them to carefully check for aquatic invasive species and contact the DNR with any suspected new infestations. Minnesota law requires that docks and lifts be allowed to dry for at least 21 days before being placed into another body of water, whether aquatic invasive species are present or not.

For the many still actively using lakes this year, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to: 

• Clean watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
• Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
• Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
• Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access.

To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another water body, especially after leaving infested waters:

• Spray with high-pressure water.
• Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees F for at least 10 seconds).
• Dry for at least five days.