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How to identify zebra mussels:

Property owners are encouraged to check their own equipment for zebra mussels.


Click here for pictures of zebra mussels and where to find them on your water craft and equipment.
Click here for the DNR web resource:  


A few pointers for searching:

  • Zebra mussel juveniles can be very small-  less than 1/4inch (~0.5cm) and adult mussels can be as large as 1.5 inches (4cm).

  • The mussels will attach to mostly hard materials

  • The mussels will often prefer shady areas like the inside of wheels/rims, inside of pipes, undersides of frame rails, etc.

  • Zebra mussels often have the striped pattern on their shell but can appear dark/black too.

  • The D-shaped shell is a good identification characteristic.


New reports can be sent directly to Tim Plude, Invasive Species Specialist.  Take pictures of the mussel on the equipment where it was found, then also remove and keep the sample in the freezer for the Invasive Species Specialist to collect.

DNR Invasive Species Specialist contact information:

Tim Plude

Invasive Species Specialist | Ecological & Water Resources

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

1601 Minnesota Dr.

Brainerd, MN 56401

Phone: 218-203-4354


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