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Lake View Township takes action to fight spread of AIS

Effective yesterday, June 28, all township public commons on lakes Melissa and Sallie are temporarily closed down for the launching/removal of watercraft.

An announcement shared with the Focus by the Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations states that the action is being taken to reduce the chance of introducing aquatic invasive species into those lakes.

The public commons sites, with 14 on Melissa and three on Sallie, will continue to be open to the public from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. The restriction is only on the launching and removal of watercraft.

The action was made by Lake View Township, with the recommendation and cooperation of the Melissa-Sallie Lake Association.

Lakes Melissa and Sallie are located just south of Detroit Lakes in Becker County. Lake Melissa is an 1,800-acre lake currently infested with Flowering Rush, an invasive plant species. Lake Sallie is adjacent to Melissa. It is a 1,300-acre lake with Flowering Rush present.

Both of these popular lakes are located within five miles of zebra mussel-infested Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County, as well as several other Otter Tail County lakes further downstream on the Pelican River.

Both lakes are listed on the DNR's Lakefinder website as having one DNR-controlled lake access which will remain open. The public is directed to use these DNR public launch sites - along Highway 59 on Lake Melissa or at the DNR Headquarters on Lake Sallie.

These watercraft sites will be monitored by DNR staff, lake associations and other community volunteers who will check the watercraft to assure they are not transporting invasive species.

Yesterday, the Minnesota DNR confirmed the presence of Eurasian Watermilfoil in Lake LeHomme Dieu in Douglas County, approximately 90 miles from Lake Melissa. Zebra mussels were also confirmed in Rose Lake in Otter Tail County in 2011.

There are no zebra mussels currently present in Becker County.

People are being asked to follow the procedures described by the Minnesota DNR and the Pelican River Watershed District for cleaning watercraft and trailers as each are moved in and out of area lakes.