AVON -- An invasive aquatic species has been found in another Stearns County lake.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says zebra mussels have been found in Big Watab Lake near Avon.

The DNR was notified after kids who were swimming found a zebra mussel. Invasive species specialists then conducted a follow-up survey and found two-dozen along a stretch of shoreline. The range of sizes and ages of the mussels indicates a reproducing population.

Zebra mussels compete with native species for food and habitat, can cut the feet of swimmers and plug up boat motors and intake pipes.

Minnesota state law says all boaters need to clean weeds and other invasive species off trailers and watercraft, remove drain plugs and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Nearly two dozen lakes and rivers in Stearns County have been confirmed to have zebra mussels as an invasive species.

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