The Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is native to Eastern Europe and Western Russia. The small mussels with striped, D-shaped shells live underwater and were accidentally released into the Great Lakes. First discovered in 1988, the invasive mussel has spread to several states including Minnesota.
Zebra mussels cause recreational, economic, and ecological damage. They attach to equipment such as boat motors, causing poor performance and costly repairs. Their sharp shells also pose a hazard to swimmers, who can cut their feet as they encounter zebra mussel-encrusted objects such as docks, rocks, and swim rafts.
The invasive mussels damage aquatic systems by outcompeting larval fish and other animals for food. They also attach to and kill native mussels.
For more information, see the Minnesota DNR zebra mussel page.
The following lakes with RPBCWD have confirmed zebra mussel infestations:
For a full list of infested lakes, see the Minnesota DNR infested waters page.
RPBCWD monitors for zebra mussels through:
annual zebra mussel veliger sampling
semi-monthly boat launch scans
public access adult zebra mussel monitoring plate
Carver County invasive species searching transects
More information about monitoring and control of invasive species can be found in the Water Resources Report in Annual Reporting .
If you live on a lake and would like to help monitor for zebra mussels, check out our Adopt a Dock Program.
Learn more at Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.org
Josh Maxwell, Water Resources Coordinator
952-607-6512 ext. 4
Zebra mussel attached to wooden post.