As a homeowner on Sand Lake began to install their dock this spring they removed dead zebra mussels from it’s structure.They then informed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) about their findings. They have confirmed the species and during preliminary searches of connected waters have confirmed additional zebra mussels in Little Sand Lake. Sand Lake and Little Sand Lake, in northern Itasca County, are part of Bowstring chain of lakes that eventually flow into the Bigfork River. Additional searches of these waters are now taking place in order to determine the scope of the invasive species infestation.
Connected waters being investigated for infestation include:
• Bowstring Lake
• Rice Lake
• Portage Lake
• Bird’s Eye Lake
This doesn’t mean that recreational boaters and fisherman can not be on the waters but they should be on the look out for infested waters signage at public access points. This allows boaters to be aware of the findings and to take extra precaution to make sure they are not spreading the invasive species to other lakes they go to. Bait harvest and transport of water for any purpose is prohibited in infested waters.
Anglers and boaters are reminded to remove all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species, drain water from all water equipment including portable bait containers, and drain bilges and live wells by removing the drain plug before leaving the boat landing. If you would like more information on invasive species check out the DNR’s website here.