Zebra mussels invaded Polk County in 2016, first appearing in Deer Lake, they have now been found in Balsam Lake. Polk County officials are working hard to prevent the spread into other county lakes.
The aquatic invasive species known as Zebra Mussels are a filter feeding mussel, unique in its ability to attach to hard surfaces like docks and boats. They can multiply by the millions and are small enough to migrate easily between lakes if not properly removed from recreational equipment. Their journey to Balsam Lake, from introduction to infestation, is well catalogued by the county’s water quality specialists.