Spiny waterfleas have been discovered in Burntside Lake near Ely. An angler reported spiny waterfleas collecting on his fishing line.
Water fleas are tiny, but pose threats to lake life. The animals can collect in masses like gelatin or cotton batting. They have a long tail spine with up to three pairs of barbs.
They were likely carried on a boat or other gear from another infested lake -- Lake Superior, Mille Lacs Lake, or one of the Canadian border lakes.
Spiny waterfleas eat other zooplankton, and they can change the ecosystem of a lake.
The DNR will declare Burntside Lake infested, which means transport of water in and out is prohibited; livewells, bait containers and bilges must be drained.
The DNR will conduct more frequent inspections at boat landings on Burntside.