DNR tries Zequanox on Christmas Lake's invasive zebra mussels

Officials are using a new treatment today to rid Hennepin County's Christmas Lake of invasive mussels.

Zequanox is made of the dead cells of a certain microbe, and the company that makes it says it kills zebra mussels without harming the rest of the ecosystem. Federal regulators have approved the product's use in open water.

The Department of Natural Resources confirmed the presence of zebra mussels on Christmas Lake in the west Twin Cities metro just last month, and the DNR, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the lake homeowner's association decided to try to get rid of them before they continue to spread.

Fears that zebra mussels would enter the popular recreation lake were heightened after the invasive species were discovered in nearby Lake Minnetonka in 2010. Mandatory boat inspections had been taking place at Christmas Lake, but somehow the mussels found their way in.

The U.S. Geological Survey will be studying how best to apply Zequanox on Lake Minnetonka later this month.

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