Starry stonewort confirmed on 1 new Minnesota lake

- The Minnesota Department of Resources has confirmed the presence of starry stonewort in one new lake, bringing the total number of lakes where the invasive algae has been detected to three.

The DNR confirmed an isolated growth of starry stonewort near the public access on Grand Lake in Stearns County after an organized search of 178 lakes in 20 counties. Two other Stearns County lakes have previously been confirmed to have starry stonewort: Rice Lake in 2016 and Lake Koronis in 2015.

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Starry stonewort is grass-like macro algae that could create dense mats and could choke out native plants and disrupt lake use. The algae are usually spread by lake users who could transport fragments of the plant to other lakes.

Starry stonewort is easiest to spot in August, when the “telltale star-shaped bulbs are the most abundant and visible,” according to Heidi Wolf, the invasive species coordinator for the DNR. Any suspicious plants should be reported to the department.

According to the DNR, starry stonewort has not yet been successfully eradicated from any lake in the United States.

In light of the latest confirmation, DNR is reminding boaters and anglers to follow these recommendations for preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

How to prevent the spread of aquatic plants and animals from watercraft

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash

More information can be found here.

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