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Zebra mussels found in Lake Sallie, three other Minnesota lakes

ST PAUL — Lake Sallie in Becker County is one of four lakes the Department of Natural Resources has confirmed as having new infestations of zebra mussels.

Other infested lakes are Lake Andrew in Douglas County, Lac qui Parle Lake in Chippewa and Swift counties, and Big Birch Lake in Todd and Stearns counties.

DNR invasive species specialists confirmed zebra mussels at three locations in Lake Sallie. The initial report came from a lake property owner who spotted a half-inch zebra mussel on his dock. Lake Sallie is downstream of Detroit Lake, where zebra mussels were confirmed earlier this year.

"New zebra mussel infestations are often discovered at the end of the boating and fishing season, when docks and lifts are being taken out of the water," DNR invasive species unit supervisor Heidi Wolf said in a news release. "It is important to carefully check for zebra mussels on docks and lifts, and Minnesota law requires that they be allowed to dry for at least 21 days before they can be placed in another body of water. If docks and lifts can be left out of water over winter before being installed in a new water, that's optimal."

Zebra mussels are a non-native species that compete with native species for food and habitat, cut swimmers' feet, reduce boat motor performance and damage water intake pipes.

Less than two percent of Minnesota's 11,842 lakes are listed as infested with zebra mussels.

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