Zebra mussels are on doorstep of the BWCA

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 5, 2012 - 12:52 AM

The recent discovery of the invasive critters in a small Iron Range mine pit lake poses an ominous threat to northeastern Minnesota lakes

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  • Comments

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leiniesguySep. 1, 1211:35 PM

Once zebra mussels occupy the entire state, we will then see that this was a scare tactic only, the Lake Michigan fishery had never been better!

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davepenSep. 1, 1211:43 PM

They can't be stopped. You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it. Unless they find a way to eradicate them, they are here to stay. All the boat inspections in the world aren't going to stop them. It only takes a millimeter-sized fragment of milfoil to propagate a plant and a thimble-full of water to spread ZM larvae. Nature always finds a way. Thumbs-down all you want, the ZM's don't care. They don't have internet yet.

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joejoe1Sep. 2, 12 3:17 AM

The long term effects of the zebra mussel are still uncertain. I would disagree that "they can't be stopped", but I would agree that Minnesotans would not be willing to go to the lengths required to stop them. At least by limiting their spread or the rate at which they spread, we can better understand the effect that the zebra mussels have on an ecosystem.

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slapshot88Sep. 2, 12 7:39 AM

I agree with davepen.. these little suckers are not only spread by man but birds and animals also spread them. That's what nature does. How arrigant of man to think it can alter nature.

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xjmnpilotSep. 2, 12 7:58 AM

I would like the DNR to take a better angle on their campaigns to deter invasive species. The least of which would be to discontinue stocking in uninfested lakes. Not only can the invasive species be carried in the stocking equipment, but in the fish themselves. Milfoil appeared in Cobblestone Lake this year - an old gravel pit turned FiN pond in Apple Valley with only walk-in access. How many other lakes can be spared by just letting nature be, and allowing the ecosystem to adjust on its own?

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erhovieSep. 2, 12 8:33 AM

I agree that the ZMs cannot be stopped, but at least their progress could be slowed a bit. As a boater, the 20ish minutes I spend after I leave the water in my driveway looking for Milfoil and draining my live well isn't exactly too much to ask for anyone.

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mmediaSep. 2, 12 8:46 AM

More "make-it-up-as-you-go science" from the people claiming they are spread by waterfowl. I suppose that guy will post next about the snapping turtle (must be one fast turtle, even weighted down with all the ZMs, since no one got a photo of such an oddity nor can name the lake it was traveling to/from). My take - so-called sportsmen are too arrogant to admit that their slobbish ways have gotten us to this point, so they look around for a convenient "scapeduck" to blame.

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jd55604Sep. 2, 1210:55 AM

Nature is full of examples where animals spread invasive species. That is not a theory but a fact. Since the DNR can not fine, penalize or tax animals they convince the populace that they are solely to blame and give them false hope that the infestations can be eradicated if they can just cough up more tax dollars and give up more of their freedoms. You can't pin this all on boaters since there are too many examples of ponds and gravel pits with no boat access becoming infested.

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fackerSep. 2, 12 4:58 PM

mmedia...slobbish ways? Sportsmen? Lets be 100% accurate in this us versus them BS that a very select few well-to-do people of this state are pushing. Lakeshore owners and the so-called 'environment friendly' associations they form do more harm to the natural lakes of this lake than ANY other group OR any invasive species filling in the impairments being made by them. The best thing that could happen is for zebra mussels to rapidly spread so we can all save our money on trying to prevent them. It is inevitable because we live in a society that puts money and the economy first and the environment second. Its the global transit system that is the problem, not sportsmen.

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davepenSep. 2, 1210:11 PM

erhovie: I don't disagree. But here's the reality. I have a bunk trailer. Even if I pick all the visible milfoil off my trailer, this isn't enough. Any organic matter between the hull and bunk is inaccessible to me and will remain. It will be introduced back into the water the next time I launch. I also have a raw-water cooling system. Can Zebra Mussel larvae live on in my cooling system? I don't know.

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