The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the invasive algae starry stonewort in West Lake Sylvia in Wright County.
DNR invasive species staff confirmed sparse to moderate growth of starry stonewort among a heavy population of native plants at the southwest public access on the lake. A wider search indicated the invasive species has apparently not spread beyond the immediate access area. Potential treatment options are being pursued this fall.
Starry stonewort are grass-like algae that may produce dense mats, which could interfere with use of the lake. The invasive algae also may choke out native plants.
Starry stonewort is typically spread by lake users who transport fragments of the plant from an infested body of water. This new infestation 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.
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To further reduce the risk of spread, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:
Spray with high-pressure water.
Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees F for at least 10 seconds).
Dry for at least five days
More information about aquatic invasive species and how to report them is available at www.mndnrgov/ais.