Zebra mussels join starry stonewort as unwanted species in central Minnesota's Lake Koronis
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that Lake Koronis has a confirmed report of zebra mussels. A fishing guide snagged a zebra mussel on Lake Koronis on July 8. The lake became the first in Minnesota infested by starry stonewort when it was discovered in its waters in 2015.
PAYNESVILLE — Add zebra mussels to the list of aquatic invasive species in Lake Koronis.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Lake Koronis, near Paynesville in Stearns County, it was announced Monday.
The DNR reported that a fishing guide snagged an adult zebra mussel on a hook on July 8 and reported it.
DNR invasive species specialists searched the area and found no other zebra mussels. During a follow-up search, the DNR found one juvenile zebra mussel near the Lake Koronis Regional Park public water access.
According to the DNR, zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.
Zebra mussels join starry stonewort as invasive aquatic species in Lake Koronis. Starry stonewort was first confirmed in Lake Koronis in 2015, making it the first lake in Minnesota to be infested by the single-strand alga.
According to West Central Tribune archives, in the past five years, the Lake Koronis Lake Association in partnership with the Minnesota DNR and others have invested $800,000 to manage starry stonewort. The invasive species has spread to more than 70 percent of the lake’s littoral area, according to the Lake Association.
The DNR reminds all lake users to abide by the law and help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Minnesota law requires people to do the following:
- 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.
People should contact a Minnesota DNR aquatic invasive species specialist at www.dnr.state.mn.us/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 at mndnr.gov/AIS.