Tim Plude, a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist, was doing a public access inspection below the Cross Lake dam on September 13, 2017 when according to the DNR, “Eurasian water milfoil was discovered rooted in the Pine River below the Cross Lake Dam at the USACE Campground day use area in the City of Cross Lake.”
Until then the nearest known invasive Eurasian watermilfoil was in Kimble lake, three miles away.
The next day Plude searched the waters of Cross Lake, above the dam, and did not find any in the areas he searched. On his third day of inspections, he traveled down river from the dam, finding several more infestations of Eurasian watermilfoil, including the waters near Pine Lake.
WAPOA plans to have additional searching done in Cross Lake (above the dam). It is thought that early discovery of an invasive plant gives the best chances of suppressing Eurasian watermilfoil.
Eurasian watermilfoil can be spread from lake-to-lake by transfer of a single fragment of leaf and stem of the plant. This can easily occur if a plant fragment is carried from one lake to another on bunks on boat trailers, trailer springs, anchor ropes, and other waterfront related items.
Once invasive plants get in a lake, the yearly costs of treatment can strain a lake association’s budget and administrative abilities. For those interested in the “naturalness” of our lakes, an invasion can drastically change the existing balance between the plants and animals.
So, what can we do?
1. Continue to “Clean, Drain, and Dry” boat and trailer, and “Dispose”of bait.
2. Continue support of inspections at accesses. Continue to support research at the University of Minnesota.
Earlier this month, leaders from Lower Hay and WAPOA attended an all day conference at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center held at the University of Minnesota Campus in St. Paul.
One of the researchers stated that currently the most effective way to stop invasive species is through inspection of watercraft and equipment at accesses.
He said that will give them the necessary time to come through with breakthroughs in research. An example: University of Minnesota researchers have just done the first-ever sequencing of DNA in zebra mussels. Now they are starting the work to find mechanisms to disrupt the zebra mussel life cycles.
Actual DNR report with maps, linked to this article on WAPOA home page.