BEWARE! Invasive Algae Found In Popular Leech Lake
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed multiple cases of the invasive algae, starry stonewort, in lakes up north...aka cabin country!
Why does this matter, you may wonder?
According to the DNR website, starry stonewort provides unsuitable shelter, food, and nesting habitats for native animals and inhibits water recreationists by creating dense mats at the water's surface.
In summary, the invasive species cause recreational and ecological damage.
Not only has the algae appeared in Leech Lake, but has now been confirmed in 18 of Minnesota's 11,842 lakes, including Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish.
It must be stopped!
Hopefully, the next question you ask yourself is, what can I do to stop the spread of starry stonewort?
First, if you ever see the white star-shaped bulbils, report it to the DNR's area invasive species specialist.
Always clean aquatic plants and animals from your watercraft after use. Make sure you drain all water by removing drain plugs and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
It is best, especially after leaving infested waters, to spray your boat with high-pressure water, rinse with very hot water (120 degrees for two minutes or 140 degrees for ten seconds), and then let it dry for at least five days.
It sounds like a lot of work, but it'll keep our Minnesota lakes clean and healthy.
The DNR Invasive Species Program is working with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to find management options. State funds will help with the process. Right now, treatment procedures include hand pulling or herbicide applications.