Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As people get on Minnesota lakes, the Department of Natural Resources and others are asking to keep a close eye on zebra mussels. Now, there’s a new campaign in the Twin Cities that’s hoping to stop the spread.
Scott Olson was hoping for the best as he set out to fish on Lake Minnetonka Thursday night. However, Olson knows that zebra mussels are here in Lake Minnetonka — they were discovered last summer — and he doesn’t want to carry them somewhere else.
“Anything invasive we are concerned about because it affects the fish we have that are natural to the lakes,” said boater Brent Bjorneberg.
It’s not just Lake Minnetonka. Zebra mussels were also discovered at the headwaters of the Minnehaha Creek.
It’s a big concern because the creek connects to other lakes around the Twin Cities. It’s like having a clot in an artery, and it has caused the DNR and other groups to get active with a “Save Our Summers” campaign.
The ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ message seen on Lake Nokomis will soon be spreading to Minnehaha Creek, where organizers hope canoers and kayakers get the message.
“We want to spread the message to canoers and kayakers that they have to take the same precautions if they want to avoid the risk of spreading zebra mussels to other water bodies,” said Minnehaha Creek Watershed spokesman Telly Mamayek.
Like boats have to be drained and cleaned when they leave a lake, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed is asking others do the same. It’s the only way to stop the spread.
“There’s really nothing we can do to prevent the further spread in the Minnehaha Creek, because it’s already there. What we can do is just try to contain it the best we can,” said Mamayek.