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Published October 04, 2011, 09:50 PM

Minnesota DNR still battling zebra mussels in area lakes

Rose Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - Clean, Drain and Dry, we've heard the schpiel all summer on Minnesota lake waters, but now, as the season is coming to a close it seems there are some that missed the message. Zebra Mussels have been found on a Lake on the Otter Tail River Chain.

Clean, Drain and Dry, we've heard the schpiel all summer on Minnesota lake waters, but now, as the season is coming to a close it seems there are some that missed the message. Zebra Mussels have been found on a Lake on the Otter Tail River Chain.

Gina Kitchenmaster had a record year this summer at her Rose Ridge Resort. She's planning on expanding, possibly building new cabins for next season. That was, until she discovered they found Zebra Mussels in Rose Lake.

Gina Kitchenmaster – Owner, Rose Ridge Resort: “We worry how it could possibly impact our business, and not even our business but the entire area for tourism and everything.”

The problem is believed to have started when a man put a dock into Rose Lake that he bought from Lizzie Lake, a lake known for its Zebra Mussel infestation. Now officials are calling for more education of this epidemic.

Tera Guetter – Adminstrator, Pelican River Watershed District: “It's almost like a germ where people need to wash their hands, and just like the zebra mussels we need to washing our boats, we need to be cleaning our equipment whether it's your beach shoes you have on or your fishing equipment.”

Gina Kitchenmaster: “When you hear about an infestation that occurs because of something like that, it's very disheartening.”

Many have been waiting all summer for the news that another lake was infested.

Rose Lake is on the Otter Tail River Chain, which means if the infestation is not contained or eliminated, Big and Little Pine lakes could be next.

Tera Guetter: “It's just becoming rampant and it's exploding around our state.”

The DNR is somewhat hopeful that it can contain and possibly eliminate the Zebra Mussel infestation on Rose Lake. Today, several people from the DNR built a 100-by-100-foot containment fence. Officials say it's rare that they know the reason, date and time of an infestation and believe they might be able to stop the spread. The DNR believes it was transferred from a boat lift or dock that was put into Rose Lake after being in Lizzie Lake, a lake known for it's zebra mussel infestation

Nathan Olson – Biologist, MN-DNR: “From what I've seen of the dock, it had many zebra mussels on it. So we are not 100-percent confident that they are all right here. But judging by everything we've done, it looks like they're all right here. And so we are going to do as much as we can to see if we can't get these critters.”

The spray will be applied once week for the next three weeks.

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