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Zebra Mussels found in Rouchleau Mine Pit

Water pumping from the Rouchleau Mine Pit has been put on hold with the discovery of an aquatic invasive species by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources near Virginia in St Louis County. 

Zebra mussels were discovered in the historic Rouchleau Pit when the mining company was conducting routine inspections of a dewatering operation. The pit is located near an active taconite mine, with the water being pumped into a drainage ditch that flows into Ramshaw Lake, which flows into Long Lake Creek and the St Louis River. 

The DNR will review all existing permits to take water from the Rouchleau Pit and connected waters, determine the next course of action to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels, and conduct additional monitoring. 

The DNR continues to remind boaters and anglers to clean watercraft and trailers, drain all water by removing plugs and keep them out during transport, and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.