ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is launching a new weapon against the spread of the invasive zebra mussel in at least three lakes.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported Friday that DNR workers will use high-pressure washers to decontaminate boats with zebra mussels at Lake Minnetonka and Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County and Lake Mille Lacs, the state’s second largest inland lake.

The high-pressure washers will be stationed at public access points.

Keri Hull, a DNR spokeswoman, said boats will be inspected this weekend, and only those with zebra mussels attached will be power washed with water up to 140 degrees.

“We’ll do an inspection, go around their boat, check the spots where Zebra mussels like to hide, where plants and vegetation like to hide,” Hull said. “If we do find any zebra mussels attached to the boat, that’s when we’ll go through the decontamination process with those power washers.”

The high temperature will help “kill off the zebra mussels and any other invasive species,” she said.

The DNR plans to buy more machines and will have a total of 20 by next summer. The devices will be moved around the state, to some of the 50 Minnesota water bodies known to be infested with zebra mussels.

This year, the DNR is spending almost $2 million on controlling invasive species, including $300,000 for the 20 decontamination units.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Jason says:

    Of course people will complain about this, but if they would have been responsible in the first place then they wouldn’t need people to inspect and wash their boat for them.

    Another perfect example of taxpayer dollars being wasted on lazy people that shouldn’t be on a lake to begin with.

  2. Malthus says:

    Lake Minnetonka is already infected.

    This is a government stupidity at it’s worst. The DNR is a poster child for mindless government bureaucrats.

    You cannot fight this invasive species. It IS nature.

    1. sue says:

      This is not nature. This was carelessness by people. That is one of the ‘features’ of invasive species. It can be minimized and contained.

      1. nameme says:

        EXACTLY!!! “Malthus” is the poster child for the D bags that shouldnt be on the lakes spreading this species with their stupidity…

  3. David J. Conklin says:

    >You cannot fight this invasive species.

    Since the lake is already infected one cannot “win.” One can, however, contain it.

  4. InTheKnow says:

    It’s my understanding that the zebra muscle starts out microscpoic in size. Good lick with that!

  5. John says:

    Now all the need to do is to figure a way to get the Birds and Ducks washed before going from a infected lake to a non-infected lake. Total waste of tax $$$$$

    1. kate says:

      Zebra mussles attach themselves to hard surfaces. Birds and ducks are considered soft surfaces and tend to clean themselves now and again. Unlike too many boat owners.
      Do you also complain that the state wastes too many tax dollars cleaning up trash along the highway? The trash shouldn’t be there in the first place, but sometimes we have to clean up after the losers.

      1. wayne says:

        Sorry Kate, but the muscle start out as “free floaters” and yes they can and are transported by waterfowl along with the larva and adults of the spiney water flea. This however doesnt eliminate the control efforts validity. Its just easier to get funding if it can be human caused. Crayfish, Scalops (the duck), Freshwater Drum and Small Mouth Bass EAT zebra muscles. The Zebra Musscles presence in Lake Michigan has been attributed to the drastic improvment in water quality…They still Suck it you own a dock or an intake in their waters.

  6. Coc Nhai says:

    DNR get nothing to do.Why dont go to the lake to catch zeebra mussels that is their jobs.

  7. This is common elsewhere says:

    This is already common place in other states such as California. What they don’t tell you is that they will damage your boat including its decals and there is no recourse for the boat owner. Even a cheap newer boat is over $30,000 and a $50,000 non-flashy fishing boat is common. There are other practices that are just as silly that will surely make their way to MN in the years to come. Did you know that it is against the law to tow your boat with the plug in? It is disappointing when even the DNR that are generally well respected slump to this type of tactic.

    1. Jason says:

      Boo Hoo, clean your damn boat and you have nothing to worry about!!!!!

  8. possible answers says:


    There are a number of natural predators of zebra mussel. Zebra mussels have high nutritional value (Walz, 1979[not specific enough to verify]) and are consumed in large quantities by crayfish, waterfowl and in smaller quantities by muskrats.

    Crayfish could have a significant impact on the densities of 1 to 5 mm long zebra mussels. An adult crayfish consumes an average of nearly 105 zebra mussels every day, or about 6000 mussels in a season. Predation rates are significantly reduced at cooler water temperatures.

    Several species of fish consume zebra mussels. Smallmouth bass are a predator in the zebra mussels’ adopted North American Great Lakes habitat.[9]

  9. Fisherman says:

    Positive aspect : At least we get free boat washes!

  10. Lori says:

    They should also be attacking, spraying, and killing all the wild parsnip that is now lining the roadways. This stuff can cause a person some serious damage.
    I wish the State would start addressing this problem before its totally out of control.

    1. kate says:

      DNR is only allowed to do what the legislator funds and allows.

      Remember the frogs witth extra limbs? They collected all the water samples, ran them through the test machines, then the EPA cut the funding for someone to look at the data to try to find out what caused it. Yea, need to cut down on ‘Big Government’ intruding in our lives and regulating too much

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