Starry Stonewort Infestation on Turtle Lake

Second known infestation of stary stonewort in Minnesota

Minnesota’s second known infestation of starry stonewort, an invasive form of macro algae, has been confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Turtle Lake, near Bemidji.

Turtle lake is 185 miles north of Lake Koonis and Mud Lake, in Stearns and Meeker counties, where the state’s first starry stonewort infestation was confirmed by the DNR in August 2015.

DNR section manager Ann Pierce said, “We strongly encourage anyone who is uncertain of the identity of a species and suspects it may be starry stonewort or any other aquatic invasive species to contact the DNR so we can check it out.”

An initial survey of Turtle Lake showed the infestation extends through one acre of the 1,600-acre lake. Extensive healthy aquatic plant growth within the lake may be limiting the expansion of starry stonewort.

Starry stonewort is a grass-like algae that may produce dense mats, which could interfere with use of the lake. The invasive species may also choke out native plants and possibly alter habitat for fish.

Invasive species are typically spread by lake users who transport fragments of the plant from an infested body of water.

The DNR reminds boaters and anglers to follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

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.

For more information about aquatic invasive species and how to report them is available at www.mndnr.gov/ais

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