Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) get their name from the alternating black and white striped pattern on their shells. They have spread extensively in the Great Lakes region in the past decade. They attach themselves to any solid underwater object such as boat hulls, piers, intake pipes, plants, other bivalves (mussels) and even other zebra mussels.
They were first discovered in North America in Lake St. Clair in June
1988. The mussels then spread to the rest of the Great Lakes. The first
sighting in Lake Michigan was in June 1989. By 1990, zebra mussels had
been found in all of the Great Lakes, and by 1991 they had made their
way into the adjacent waters of the Great Lakes such as the Illinois
River, which eventually led to their spread into the Mississippi River
and all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Lakes with Discovered Zebra Mussels
Independence Grove Lake
Sterling Lake at Van Patten Woods, Fox Chain-O-Lakes, Gages Lake, Lake Zurich, West Loon Lake, Lake Minear and Tower Lake
Bangs Lake, Cedar Lake, Third Lake
Druce Lake, East Loon Lake
Long Lake, Round Lake
Island Lake, St. Mary's Lake
These are the only officially documented occurrences of zebra mussels in inland lakes in Lake County. However, the mussels have undoubtedly infested other County lakes but have probably gone unnoticed thus far.