Zebra mussels discovered on aquarium plants

Image of a Zebra Mussel
Zebra Mussel, Photo by: Dave Brenner, Michigan Sea Grant

Invasive zebra mussels, which first hitched a ride to the Great Lakes more than 30 years ago in cargo ships from Europe, have now been found in “moss balls,” which are sold at pet supply stores for use in aquariums. Moss balls are 2- to 5-inch-wide balls made, not of moss, but of green algae, that are popular fish habitat in aquariums.

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Though zebra mussels have not been found in most northern MN lakes yet, they have become quite a problem in metro area lakes. The Nine Mile Creek Watershed District is partnering with local lakeshore owners, cities, and the Three Rivers Park District to monitor three of our lakes for zebra mussels through the Adopt a Dock volunteer program.


Adopt a Dock Program Kit

Volunteers agree to check special zebra mussel detection plates once a month, and report whether or not they found zebra mussels, and how many. Native MN mussels do not attach to plates like this, making it a low-cost, easy way to target monitoring towards the invasive mussel.