Mallard Lake: Invasive Zebra Mussels Found at Mallard Lake

Image © Amy Benson

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has identified invasive nonnative zebra mussels in Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park and is asking anglers to take steps to prevent their spread.

● Drain and remove all water, mud, plants and animals from all equipment before you leave the shore.

● Wash and dry anything that comes in contact with the water, including tackle, clothes and pets. Use hot water (over 104 degrees) or a power washer. If possible, let it dry for five days. You can’t see juvenile zebra mussels with the naked eye, and they can survive out of water. If you don’t clean and dry your gear, you can easily move them from lake to lake.

● Juveniles can also hitchhike in bait buckets, so never move bait buckets from one body of water to another, and never dump bait in a lake or waterway. Empty bait buckets in garbage cans before leaving the forest preserve.

● Never put plants or animals in a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.

The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is a fingernail-sized, striped nonnative mollusk that’s spread across the U.S. by attaching to watercraft and bait buckets. Zebra mussels are prolific breeders and can critically harm native mussel populations by interfering with feeding. Large populations can filter all of the water in a lake in one day, consuming plankton that native species rely on for food. Some native waterfowl and fish feed on zebra mussel but do not consume enough to control populations.

Last month the District discovered zebra mussels in Eagle Lake at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove. In 2012, they were found in Bass Lake and in 2009 they were found in Deep Quarry Lake, both at West Branch Forest Preserve in Bartlett.

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©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County