ELK RIVER -- Zebra mussels have been found in a Sherburne County lake near Elk River. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it's the first time the invasive species has been discovered in the county.

Two other invasive species were also found in Lake Orono in addition to the zebra mussels. The DNR says Eurasian watermilfoil and rusty crayfish were also discovered.

The Elk River runs through Lake Orono and the DNR received multiple reports of zebra mussels as the lake was drawn down earlier this month. A DNR invasive species specialist then confirmed a reproducing population of zebra mussels at two locations.

Zebra mussels compete with native species for food and habitat, can cut the feet of swimmers, and plug up boat motors and intake pipes. Eurasian watermilfoil can form dense mats of vegetation and Rusty crayfish are often aquarium pets that have been illegally released. They can displace native crayfish species, destroy aquatic plant beds, and consume fish eggs.

The DNR is asking everyone to closely inspect their docks and boat lifts for zebra mussels when removing them for the season.

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