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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Zebra mussels spreading quickly

Unscientific survey finds them on 1 out of every 2-3 rocks in Wayzata Beach swimming area

Zebra mussels growing on a rock found in the Wayzata Beach swimming area this weekend. Photo Dan Gustafson.
Many local families spent time swimming and boating in Lake Minnetonka this holiday weekend.  My family spent several days swimming, playing and picnicking at Wayzata Beach.  To our dismay, we discovered zebra mussels.  Lots of zebra mussels.  A lot more zebra mussels than I thought we would find during the first summer with the invasive species.

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Our unscientific survey went like this:  walk out past the initial rocks on Wayzata Beach, to water that was higher than waist deep, pick up a rock, and evaluate.  Our results were surprising: we found that just about every other rock had a zebra mussel, or two, or three, or more on them.

Zebra mussels on a rock at Wayzata Beach. Photo Dan Gustafson.
The questions for the Lake Minnetonka community:
  • How quickly is the first wave of zebra mussels going to grow from babies to adults?
  • How quickly are they going to spread?
  • What can be done at local beaches if zebra mussels live up to their reputation and grow on every hard surface in the lake?
  • Is this going to make it impossible to swim without protective footwear? 
While I don't have the answers to questions, I sure admire the problem.

Five zebra mussels on a rock at Wayzata Beach. Photo Dan Gustafson.
A pile of rocks at Wayzata Beach with any number of zebra mussels on them.  Photo Dan Gustafson.
Have some insight into zebra mussels around the lake, or in the area?  Found some at your beach? We would love to hear from you.  Email wayzata@gmail.com or use the comment box below.

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