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(l-r) John Rowell (Board Member – RALALA), Level 2 Inspectors Art Patterson – RLID President and Emily AIS Prevention Leader and Randy Rohwer – RLID Board Member, and Connor Doede - the DNR AIS Inspector Intern who was stationed at Lake Roosevelt on that Saturday. The high pressure washer in the background is the property of RLID, and is being used collaboratively in the Emily and Outing area. - photo submitted

Working to STOP Zebra Mussels

Web posted June 10, 2014
In Emily MN, the Ruth Lake Improvement District (RLID) is out and scouring! On Thursday, May 26th, their crew, along with a couple of trained folks from Crooked Lake Township, completed DNR Level 2 training for decontaminating water craft. On the very next day (Friday) the RLID crew was set-up in downtown Emily, then on Saturday they were at Roosevelt Lake, and on Sunday they were (again) back in Emily. Their mission is to power clean boats and to help stop the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Crooked Lake Township will also have more sites visited in the days ahead, and more work is continuing with Level 1 Inspectors and remote monitoring devices (ILIDS and car counters) set-up at the area launches.

With zebra mussels now confirmed in Cross Lake, Lake Winnie and Mille Lacs, as well as many popular MN recreation lakes, the challenge is ever more urgent.

Locally, this summer has a strong collaborative effort amongst the MN DNR, the City of Emily, the Crooked Lake Township Board, AIS Committee, and citizens, RLID (Ruth Lake Improvement District), RALALA (Roosevelt And Lawrence Area Lakes Association – Leavitt, Smokey Hollow, and Morrison lakes included), Lake Washburn Association (LWA) as well as Cass and Crow Wing Counties. The joint effort, which is a strong credit to both Crooked Lake and Emily, relies on DNR grants that they sought and received as well as the lake Associations and the government to raise funds for the operation. Clearly, the DNR is a lynch-pin organization in the overall efforts.

Water-users should know that they personally can greatly reduce the risk of moving any AIS, by the simple practices (and the slogan) of “CLEAN, DRAIN, and DRY”.

“CLEAN” means to remove ALL vegetation and debris (mud, snails, etc.); IF YOU FIND ANY ZEBRA MUSSELS, advise the DNR immediately and do NOT travel on the highway until directed to do so – it is against the law to transport ANY AIS on any road in MN, without special arrangements.

“DRAIN” means to get ALL water out of bait wells, live wells, and the bilge. If the boat has ‘bladders’, then completely drain those OR insert a hose with HOT (140 degree) water for at least 10 -20 seconds, and then drain as much of the water as possible.

“DRY” means to have all compartments open to the air, and all ropes, anchors, fishing gear and the like open to dry – after rinsing with that 140 degree water mentioned above.

One of the highest risk actions that moves AIS is the re-location of used boat lifts, docks and other lake equipment. The SAFEST is to let them winter-out before moving them, but in ANY case, be sure they are out of the water for at least 30-45 days when moving between lakes. With all of the tubes, and crevices, such structures are virtually impossible to actually clean 100% - thus, the DRY aspect is crucial to their safe transference.

More efforts are being studied and evaluated to make the process even more effective, efficient, and reliable as well as less hassle and disruptive to the fishermen and water users.

The collaboration mentioned above wants to thank everyone for their attention and their support as the progress continues.

- photo and article submitted by Darril Wegscheid, RALALA Lake Mgmt Plan coordinator/ RALALA Board Member

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