Big Sand Lake Association
committed to the preservation of Big Sand Lake
Zebra Mussel Veliger Testing
Overview: Veligers are the microscopic juvenile larvae of zebra mussels developing from the eggs of an adult female. Early detection allows for possible containment of a zebra mussel infestation in the lake. One adult female zebra mussel may release up to one million eggs per year.
Process: BSLA purchased a a specially designed plankton net for approximately $200 as soon as this type of testing became available. Water samples are taken by a Big Sand volunteer using this net from three different locations on the lake around the first of July and again in mid-July. Plankton and other debris left on the net after all water is drained are placed in a container supplied by RMB Environmental Laboratories (RMBEL) in Detroit Lakes. The samples are preserved in a solution of 1/3 water and 2/3 alcohol. The Big Sand volunteer takes the two samples after the mid-July sampling to Charlies’s Marine to be delivered to RMBEL with samples from other participating Hubbard County lakes. The Big Sand volunteer(s) is responsible for cleaning and storing the net.
Results: As of 2018, there has been no evidence of zebra mussel veligers in Big Sand.
Zebra Mussel Detection Device
In 2016, BSLA purchased 20 new ‘Zebra Mussel Samplers’ as soon as they came available. The sampler is a string of metal plates on a center column which is hung off objects such as docks and buoys. Zebra Mussels tend to attach to the center column and the underside of the plates.
Early detection, and thus early treatment if an invasion is suspected, is enhanced when accesses are thoroughly inspected and ‘Samplers’ are placed around the lake and inspected on a regular schedule. The 20 samplers purchased by BSLA were strategical placed around Big Sand. Residents, who agreed to have and inspect a sampler, were asked to check the samplers at the end of each season when they are removed from the water and replace them on an annual basis. Records are being kept on placement and inspection. BSLA residents may purchase additional ‘Samplers’ for use on their lakefront for approximately $20 each. Contact email@example.com for more information.