Jul
22
2009

Invasive Species Update

A Zebra Mussel
A Zebra MusselCourtesy USGS
Invasive species are getting to be more and more in the news lately, both nationally. Emerald ash borers, Eurasian watermilfoil, Asian lady beetles, zebra mussels, buckthorn and silver carp, just to name a very few, pose significant environmental and economic risks. But, they are a fact of life now, sadly, and its up to all of us to make sure we slow their inevitable spread as much as possible.

Zebra mussels have been recently discovered in four more Minnesota lakes – Lake Prior (Scott County), Pike Lake (near Duluth), Le Homme Dieu (Alexandria) and Rebecca (near Hastings) bringing the total number of lakes confirmed with zebra mussels in Minnesota up to 10. Eurasian watermilfoil is gaining ground too, recently discovered in Lake Florida, near Spicer.

As a result of the spread of these invasive species, the Minnesota DNR is stepping up its enforcement efforts. And while the DNR is doing its best, the message they want to get out is that its really up to everyone who spends time on a lake to stop their spread.

On a side note, the Cambridge Field Research Laboratory for the New York State Museum is researching a way to kill zebra mussels with natural bacteria. The bacteria treatment has to date not been tested in a lake, but has been successfully tested in water intakes at power plants. Once the treatment gets EPA approval, it will be tested in lakes, probably in a year or so.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

arbordoctor's picture
arbordoctor says:

Well much has been left out of this site that is common knowledge so I will help out. Minnesota has the second highest concentration of ash trees in the United States at 900 million ash trees approx. THe highest is Ohio that nearly has 3 billion ash trees. Most of our ash are in residential areas which makes this hit home hard. Emerald Ash Borer is a flat headed borer that is attracted to ash trees. The real problem is not the little green insect that gets all the headlines but its larve that is hatched in the living layer of the tree. This larve tunnels through the cambrium in a zigzag pattern that does a lot of damage to the tree. Like most flat headed borers these bugs attack weak trees first. So a bad drought, tons of rain, or a cold stretch could set off a devastating run for these insects. The city of St Paul has set up a fund to cut down ash trees in the infected area. Right now not much movement has been spotted.

posted on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 12:35pm

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