Starry Stonewart Invasive Found in Sturgeon Bay

Starry Stonewort, an aquatic invasive species, has been verified in the Sturgeon Bay channel. It is the first confirmed discovery of the invasive plant in Lake Michigan and the first occurrence in the state outside of six southeastern Wisconsin lakes. The plant population was discovered during a routine aquatic plant monitoring survey by a lake management contractor working for the City of Sturgeon Bay. The contractor provided photos and live specimens to the Department of Natural Resources which confirmed the finding. Bob Wakeman, the DNR’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator, said the plant was found in 20 different patches in Sturgeon Bay. He said its discovery reinforces the need for boaters to take action to stop its spread. Wakeman said, given Sturgeon Bay’s popularity as a destination for recreational boaters and anglers from across the region, Starry Stonewort has the potential to spread to many new lakes. The invasive was first discovered in the United States in 1978. Native to Europe and Asia, the plant can take hold in a lake, choking out other vegetation and damaging habitat for young fish.

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