As the fishing opener approaches, officials are stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species in some of the Twin Cities area's most popular lakes and streams.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is stressing early detection of potential new infestations this season, particularly for zebra mussels, which were discovered in Lake Minnetonka in 2010. One way they spread is by hitchhiking on boats and other equipment.
The watershed district includes Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka and the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, plus over 100 other lakes and thousands of wetlands.
Plans for this season include installing zebra mussel monitoring devices in many lakes, conducting shoreline searches and inspections of deeper areas of some lakes. The district is also working with other local government units to help fund watercraft inspectors.