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Published July 03, 2010, 07:35 PM

Zebra Mussel Found In Red River

DNR officials are also stepping up enforcement along the Red River after a zebra mussel was found in the river for the first time ever.

DNR officials are stepping up enforcement along the Red River after a zebra mussel was found in the river for the first time ever.

A zebra mussel has now been found in the Red River. And although it's the only one found so far...officials are worried.

"They'll group together, cluster together and they'll plug up culverts, they stick to the bottom of boats and docks, they'll plug up intakes on your motors. So they do a lot of destructive type things to the environment and your property." said conservation officer Stuart Benson.

The zebra mussel can produce up to one million eggs a year and the little creatures can mess up an already balanced ecosystem, so officials want people to know what to do.

"The legislature passed a law that whenever you leave a body of water, a river or lake, you must pull the plug on your boat." said Benson, "That's to let all the water out. These zebra mussels, when they are young, are extremely small, almost microscopic. So in a half glass of water you could transport hundreds and hundreds of them."

The law to clean a boat before moving it is already in place and even with a new law requirement in Minnesota officials will be keeping a close eye on the Red.

"They're just virtually impossible to get rid of. So will this be a cure-all to stop them from going into other bodies of water, probably not, but we want to curb it as much as possible." said Benson.

Trying to keep those waters safe and clean for everyone.

In both North Dakota and Minnesota officials say they will increase enforcement efforts over the holiday weekend.

Boaters who do not obey the laws can be fined up to 1-thousand dollars.

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