Minnesota Bound: Invasive Species

9:43 PM, Jun 22, 2012   |    comments
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PELICAN LAKE, Minn. - Ron Schara heads to Pelican Lake as Minnesota Bound shows the devastating effects of invasive species to Minnesota waters.

Zebra mussels were first discovered in the lake back in 2009 and their numbers are growing.

On this dive, they were found on weeds, clams and even a sunken golf ball.

Zebra mussels are destructive for more than one reason. Each mussel sucks about a quart of water each day from the lake. They also remove plant material from the lake which is a food source for the native fish. Those fish rely on that food for survival.

The DNR has waged an all-out war on invasive species like the zebra mussel with six invasive species experts working in the field. It also has four or five staff to help coordinate state wide with prevention management.

"Then, we hire about between 100 and next year, 150 inspectors to be out at the launches working to help educate people and prevent the spread of those species around the state," Luke Skinner of the DNR said.

There are 800,000 registered boats in Minnesota. Slowing the spread will be key, the DNR says.

DNR invasive species information.

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