Despite efforts to muscle up the laws on the transportation of invasive species between Minnesota bodies of water, the Department of Natural Resources says it found zebra mussels in three more Minnesota waters.
Officials in North Dakota last week announced that they found first zebra mussels in the Red River north of Wahpeton.
The mussels can crowd out native mussels and compete for food sources with other aquatic animals such as larval fish.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said in a statement released on Friday that the dreaded zebra mussels have been confirmed in two central Minnesota lakes including the Red River.
Ruth and Clearwater were the fourth and fifth new lakes confirmed to have zebra mussels this year, as per the release.
A human element is unlikely related to the infestation in the Red River, the DNR says.
The zebra mussels were found in Clearwater and Ruth lakes by residents who then contacted the DNR.
The DNR calls the reports “alarming” and is urging people to follow state aquatic invasive species laws.
The DNR says about 95% of lakes and are not infested by zebra mussels, but would like to stress that diligence is needed by boaters to prevent further spread. The mussels attach to boats, docks and other aquatic equipment, or water not drained from watercraft. Anyone moving a dock or lift from one water body to another must leave the equipment out of the water for 21 days before placing it in the new water body.