The Department of Natural Resources is starting to initiate pilot projects aimed at treating recently discovered, small infestations of zebra mussels on Minnesota lakes after success was shown in one test project.
The first pilot project is the treatment of Ruth Lake near Emily in Crow Wing County. The Ruth Lake infestation was confirmed in July after a young snorkeler found a single zebra mussel under a rock. Subsequent surveys of the lake revealed about two dozen zebra mussels, all in the same small area. The pilot project treatment, using the pesticide Earth Tec QZ in a 3.4-acre section of the lake, will be paid for by the Ruth Lake Improvement Association.
Pilot projects are a new process designed by the DNR and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) at the University of Minnesota.
The effective treatment of a small, isolated zebra mussel infestation in Christmas Lake in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities in April and May provided important groundwork for the new pilot project process. Shortly after the Christmas Lake infestation was confirmed, a combination of experimental, permitted pesticides was applied with the most recent dive survey Sept. 30 showing no zebra mussels in the lake.