Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who participated in the Starry Trek site at Excelsior Commons and to other event participants for helping to protect our great waterbodies. We appreciate the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) for coordinating this important event, in conjunction with U of M Extension and MN DNR! Lake Minnetonka is a large waterbody and we must continue to be vigilant in monitoring and protecting it to manage and prevent the spread of AIS.
According to MAISRC, Starry stonewort was not found in Lake Minnetonka or other lakes during this event. However, there were some new AIS found in other lakes throughout Minnesota. Overall, there were 206 people searching 281 public accesses on 222 water bodies across Minnesota!
There were a couple other aquatic invasive species discoveries made during the event though. In Dakota County, volunteers found a new population of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in Thompson Lake. In Sherburne County, volunteers found live freshwater golden clam (Corbicua fluminea) in another inland Minnesota Lake, Big Lake. While dead, empty shells had previously been found in Big Lake this is the first time a living clam was found in that water body (and the 2nd documented occurrence of living Corbicula in an inland Minnesota lake). Last year, the first case of live Corbicula in an inland Minnesota lake was discovered by a young participant that has led to a Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center rapid response project.
A few action shots from the event are provided below.