The new algae is called starry stonewort and can be found in lakes such as Koronis, Mud or Paynesville. The Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota reported on August 28 that it was initially spotted in Lake Koronis and later on it expanded towards Mud Lake.
This type of plant is quite dangerous for the creatures living in the lake, as well as to other vegetation found at its bottom because it covers the surface of water, especially if it is not very deep. The fish is thus prevented from going to other places and other plants are literally choked.
The name of the plant derives from the shape of its bulbils. It was first seen more than three decades ago in Lake St. Clair and afterwards it expanded all over Michigan Lake. It is believed to have originated from Europe but was carried here by a vessel. In 2014, the authorities faced the same problem related to a starry stonewort invasion in Wisconsin.
Now authorities believe that it started spreading in Minnesota lakes due to a boat that might have migrated from another lake, carrying a part of the plant.
The grass-like algae is extremely prolific and is able to create very dense mats.
According to Chip Welling, who is an invasive species coordinator at the Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota, it was not easy for experts to identify the type of plant that was covering the surface of various lakes.
Even if the owners of properties in the area said they had been trying to get rid of it for quite a while, they could not tell what they were dealing with.
The Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota was informed about the problem only after the algae started to give away a bad odor.
Karen Langmo, from the Koronis Lake Association, said that she was not able to see what was wrong with the lake either.
It remains to be seen what measures the authorities will take to clear the waters of the invasive plant.
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