DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says a man got more than he bargained for when he transported zebra mussels hitching a unique ride.
The DNR says 51-year-old Bruce Hinsverk, of Wahpeton, N.D. was recently caught with a shopping cart covered in the invasive species. Closer inspection revealed that some of the zebra mussels were still alive.
Hinsverk told conservation officers he saw the shopping cart near two dumpsters in Duluth by Lake Superior. He said he was hoping to return to North Dakota with the cart because he wanted to use it as a “nice addition” to his business.
“He thought it was unique to have a cart with mussels attached,” Conservation officer candidate Jen Mueller said.
He told DNR officials he didn’t know it was illegal to transport invasive species in Minnesota. He was fined $500.
The DNR reminded that zebra mussels “pose serious ecological and economic threats to Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Heavy infestations can kill native mussels, impact fish populations, interfere with recreation, and increase costs for industry, including power and water supply facilities.”