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Nuisance zebra mussels confirmed in Twin Lakes

July 6, 2021 GMT

LAMOURE, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in a popular fishing lake in LaMoure County.

A cabin owner spotted the adult mussels on a log floating in Twin Lakes over the weekend.

The state’s aquatic nuisance species coordinator Ben Holen said follow-up sampling confirmed the presence of the destructive mussels, which compete with native species, clog water intakes and can even sink docks and buoys with their weight.

Several weeks ago, Game and Fish Department staff netted plankton samples from Twin Lakes and found breeding grounds for the mussels, KFGO reported.

The 1,735-acre lake is a popular fishing destination located a few miles north of LaMoure. Twin Lakes is located near Lake LaMoure.

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Adult zebra mussels were discovered in the Red River in 2015, and they’ve since been confirmed in Lake LaMoure, Lake Ashtabula, the James River and the Sheyenne River, all in eastern North Dakota.

Boaters are required to take precautions to stem the spread of the nuisance species, such as cleaning aquatic vegetation from fishing equipment and watercraft. The state has installed boat-cleaning stations at some water bodies.

Emergency rules will go into effect immediately to prohibit the movement of water away from the lake, including water for transferring bait. Notices will be posted at lake access sites. State inspections will increase at Twin Lakes for the rest of the summer.