Starry Stonewort Confirmed on 1 New Minnesota Lake

LOCATED AFTER A 20-COUNTY SEARCH

ST. PAUL, Minn. – After a search of 178 lakes in 20 counties by 200 trained volunteers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that the invasive algae starry stonewort in Grand Lake in Stearns County.

Starry stonewort is an alga that can form dense mats, which can interfere with the use of a lake and compete with native plants. 

This is the first new confirmation of the species in a Minnesota lake in 2017.

DNR invasive species specialists confirmed a light, isolated growth of starry stonewort near Grand Lake’s public access.

“Although we were hoping to find no new populations, we are glad this one was discovered early, thanks to the people who participated in the coordinated search known as ‘Starry Trek,'” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “We’re also encouraged that there hasn’t been a greater number of lakes found to have starry stonewort during this major search.”

Treatment options for the lake are currently being considered. To date, starry stonewort has not been eradicated from any lake in the United States.

Information on how to identify starry stonewort can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

The new confirmation has the DNR reminding 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.
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