DNR Confirms Invasive Algae in Medicine Lake
Renae Gaudette often eats lunch on the scenic shores of Medicine Lake.
“It’s peace for me,” said Gaudette.
That’s why Gaudette was disappointed to learn that Medicine Lake is the first Twin Cities lake to be infested with an invasive algae called starry stonewort.
“This is a beautiful lake in the metro area,” Gaudette said. “So seeing that kind of invasive is detrimental. I also kayak on the lake as well so seeing the algae growth is concerning.”
Minnesota First Detected Starry Stonewort in 2015
Starry stonewort is a bright green macro-algae with tiny star-shaped bulbs. The invasive species began showing up in the U.S. in 1978 after hitchhiking rides on Great Lakes cargo ships.
Almost four decades later, starry stonewort was first discovered in Minnesota waters in 2015. According to the Minnesota DNR, at least 10 states confirmed the presence of the invasive algae. At Medicine Lake, starry stonewort infested 14 of the lake’s 924 acres.
Bill Wixon, who lives on Medicine Lake, was disappointed to hear the news.
“We’re using it all the time,” Wixon said. “My wife was on it yesterday with her friends. I was on a jet ski on Saturday. It’s a real negative reaction.”
To stop the spread of starry stonewort, the DNR says owners should drain the water and clean their boats of any aquatic plants after leaving a lake.
For more information on starry stonewort: visit the Minnesota DNR’s website.