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Disease detected among waterfowl closes islands in 2 Minnesota lakes

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Detection of a disease that strikes various waterfowl has prompted the closure of islands in two southern Minnesota lakes, officials announced Friday.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is closing the islands in Minnesota Lake, near Mankato, and Pigeon Lake, west of the Twin Cities near Dassel to waterfowl hunters and other lake users.

The closures come after the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the disease, called Newcastle, from samples collected during the cleanup of dead cormorants in early August.

The islands will remain off limits until the risk of spreading the disease has diminished, the DNR added.

Islands in other lakes throughout the state could face the same fate. Results from samples submitted from bird die-offs are pending. Some of those lakes include Mille Lacs; Johanna near Glenwood; Pelican near Brainerd; Chautauqua and Pelican near Fergus Falls; and Wells near Faribault.

Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune

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