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October 29, 2018

Zebra mussels found in Lake Riley

First detection within the watershed district

Last week, a lake service provider notified the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that they had found zebra mussels on several docks on Lake Riley. The DNR notified the watershed district on October 22 and asked if we could confirm this new sighting. That afternoon, watershed staff scanned the shoreline of Lake Riley at various locations and discovered adult zebra mussels throughout the lake. Only one was found just outside of the boat landing area.  Unfortunately, because the zebra mussels are so widespread and mature, no rapid response is recommended. The DNR has published a press release and can be found here

IMG_1208.JPGRemoving boats and docks from the water? Keep an eye out for zebra mussels. Visit the DNR website for best practices in identifying new infestations here. Please clean, drain, dry your boats and water equipment.  For more tips on how to decontaminate your boats and equipment, visit the Aquatic Invasive Species page of the DNR website .

The watershed district will be scanning other local lakes in the next few weeks to determine if there are other infestations. Live on a lake? Help us detect new infestations early by becoming an Adopt a Dock volunteer and monitor for invasive mussels at your own dock.

District Administrator
Dr. Claire Bleser

Help prevent the spread: clean, drain, dispose

(from the MN DNR website: Clean In Clean Out]

When boating or fishing in Minnesota, protect your waters by following state aquatic invasive species laws

1. CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland. 


2. DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

Q&A – Boat draining, drain plugs, and bait container draining  PDF


3. DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.

KNOW THE LAW: You may not…

  • Transport watercraft without removing the drain plug.
  • Arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.
  • Transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species on any roadway.
  • Launch a watercraft with prohibited species attached.
  • Transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers.
  • Release bait into the water.