DNR Finds Eurasian Watermilfoil in a New Lake Near Brainerd

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Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive species already found in some Minnesota lakes, was discovered Monday in Upper Mission Lake, located 15 miles north of Brainerd.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff were conducting a survey of aquatic plants when they noticed fragments of Eurasian watermilfoil floating in the lake. Rooted plants were found growing near shore in one location. Researchers are now trying to determine the extent of the problem in the lake.

Milfoil is now known to have spread to 205 bodies of water in the Minnesota since it was discovered in the late 1980s. The majority of infested water bodies are in central and north-central Minnesota, according to Chip Welling, DNR Eurasian Watermilfoil Program coordinator. Of the 416 lakes in Crow Wing County, five are now known to have milfoil. The full list of infested waters is available on the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov.

Welling urges boaters to take precautions to avoid spreading invasive species. “They should inspect their boats, trailers and equipment inside and outside and remove plants, animals and mud,” Welling said. “It is important to wash and dry boats, tackle, downriggers, trailers and other recreational equipment. Washing will remove or kill harmful species that were not visible at the water access.”

Anglers are also advised to dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.