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Eurasian watermilfoil discovered in Lake Le Homme Dieu in Douglas County

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Eurasian watermilfoil has been discovered growing in Lake Le Homme Dieu near Alexandria in Douglas County, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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A small patch of the nonnative, invasive aquatic plant was discovered by an angler June 27 in the middle of the lake between the Krueger's Creek and Rotary Beach public accesses. It was later verified by a DNR staff aquatic plant biologist."

Eurasian watermilfoil has now been discovered in more than 220 lakes, eight rivers or streams in Minnesota. Lake Le Homme Dieu is the second body of water in Douglas County found to have this invasive aquatic plant. The plant was discovered in Oscar Lake near Holmes City in 1992.

The DNR is conducting further surveys to determine the extent of distribution of the Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake Le Homme Dieu. Also, the agency will work with local groups and citizens to manage the invasive plant.

Eurasian watermilfoil can form dense mats of vegetation and crowd out native aquatic plants, clog boat propellers, and make water recreation difficult. In Minnesota, this invasive plant has caused problems by producing extensive mats especially where water depths are less than 15 feet, water clarity is high, and the fertility of the bottom ranges from moderate to high.

Eurasian watermilfoil growth can be controlled but the plant usually cannot be eradicated.

To help stop aquatic hitchhikers such as Eurasian watermilfoil, the DNR urges boaters to be extra thorough in examining their boats before they leave a water access. Minnesota law prohibits boaters from transporting water from infested waters, aquatic plants from infested waters, and other prohibited invasives. Boaters may not launch watercraft with invasive species attached.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of several aquatic hitchhikers, such as Eurasian watermilfoil.

The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment: To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, anglers and boaters are required by law to:

Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access.

Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state.

Keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment.

More information on Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquatic invasive species in available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.

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