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Volunteers Needed to Search for Aggressive Lake Algae

Posted: 08/05/2021

Author: Julie Anderson

Category: Departments

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Lake-loving volunteers are needed in Douglas County on Saturday, August 21, to participate in a search for starry stonewort, an aggressive algae, which spreads easily and grows into dense mats at and below a lake’s surface.

“This is not something you want in your lake,” says Dave Rush, Director of Land and Resource Management in Douglas County. “We need volunteers to step up to the plate and help look for this before it’s too late.”

Starry stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Minnesota at Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to sixteen Minnesota lakes. Early detection is critical for control and the annual event to search for it, called Starry Trek, provides valuable information for a quick response. 

“This event is a terrific way for people to get outdoors, get educated about aquatic invasive species, and help protect their area lakes,” said Megan Weber, Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. “The information we gain at this event helps researchers and managers understand its current locations and potentially take action if new infestations are found.”

No experience or equipment is necessary to participate in Starry Trek. Participants in Douglas County will meet at Public Works, 526 Willow Drive at 8 a.m. Training on starry stonewort identification will be provided on-site. This event is free, but everyone must register in advance. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. To register and view all safety measures, visit

“We’re once again proud to be partnering with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center for this event,” said Justin Swart, Douglas County AIS Prevention Coordinator. “Protecting our lakes is really important and we want to do make sure we’re doing everything possible to prevent the introduction and spread of not only Starry stonewort, but all aquatic invasive species.”





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