USGS studies zebra mussel control with ionic copper

The USGS is studying zebra mussel control in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. The project is a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. If successful, the treatment could provide a blueprint for protecting other lakes infested with zebra mussels.

The goal of the project is to determine whether low doses of ionic copper can control zebra mussel populations by suppressing their early life stages. Fieldwork was completed in the summer of 2019. During the treatment, low doses of copper in the form of EarthTec QZ were applied to St. Alban’s Bay at Lake Minnetonka. The project wrapped up in October. Analysis of the results is underway.

Minnesota is a leader in developing zebra mussel rapid response protocols. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, less than 3% of the state’s many lakes have confirmed zebra mussel infestations. The current study is one of several in the state involving EarthTec QZ.