The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Horseshoe and Lower South Long lakes, and faucet snails in Lower South Long Lake in Crow Wing County.

A county watercraft inspector found adult zebra mussels attached to an aquatic plant removed from a boat and trailer at the Horseshoe Lake public access. Zebra mussels were found at opposite ends of the west bay of Horseshoe Lake during a follow-up search.

A lake property owner found adult zebra mussels while fishing on the east side of Lower South Long Lake. DNR staff confirmed a broad distribution of zebra mussels in the lake. They found no zebra mussels upstream or downstream of the lake and will continue to monitor.

A DNR aquatic invasive species specialist also confirmed faucet snails in Lower South Long Lake downstream of the fishing pier at the county’s wayside park. This is the first time faucet snails have been introduced to county waterbodies.

To protect lakes and stop the spread of aquatic invasive species:

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1. Leave the water at the lake — Drain water from a boat, motor, live wells, bilge and bait bucket before leaving the lake.

2. Clean up your rig — Remove plants, mud and other debris from your boat, trailer, fishing lines and downrigger cables.

3. Dry it out — Do not move docks and lifts from one body of water to another without sufficient time to dry. It’s a good idea to dry boats and gear for at least five days, lifts and docks for at least 21 days.

4. Spread the word, not the species — Unless it came from that body of water, don’t put it in there. This includes anything from your aquarium. Dispose of unwanted live bait, worms and fish parts in the trash.

To learn more about the county AIS prevention efforts and the 2021 AIS Prevention Plan, visit www.crowwing.us/AIS.

The 2021 AIS Prevention Plan includes funding for watercraft inspections at about 42 boat landings throughout the county. AIS funding is allocated by the state legislature as part of the program aid given to Minnesota counties.