MN Aquatic Invasive Species Trends for 2018

In the land of 11,842 lakes, 69,200 miles of rivers, and 9.2 million acres of wetlands, Minnesota doesn’t joke around when it comes to AIS (aquatic invasive species).

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018

Along with the usual suspects on the AIS Watch List, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center  and Minnesota State Management Plan have surmised MN Aquatic Invasive Trends for 2018.

For a quick overview of Minnesota’s invasion, here’s a video.

Pictured below are the most destructive species threats. Click on the pictures to find a removal solution.



Curly Leaf Pondweed

MN Aquatic Invasive Weed 2018

-Interferes with recreation and prevents native plant growth
-Submersed plant which forms thick mats on water surface.
-Almost identical to native pondweed, but unique in its serrated leaf edges
-First pondweed to sprout in spring, while midsummer die-offs litter shorelines with plant debris
-Can grow at depths of 15 ft and doesn’t require clear water



Eurasian Watermilfoil

MN Trends in Aquatic Invasive Weeds 2018

-A perennial weed that reproduces via stem fragmentation
-Grows up to 20 ft tall but averages 3 to 9 ft.
-Introduced in the US in early 1900s and now found in 342 Minnesota waterbodies
-Provides unsuitable habitat for native animals
Nuisance to recreation and other native species
-Flowers twice in one year (mid June and late July)


Purple Loosestrife

MN Aquatic Invasive Weeds 2018

Wetland weed that is native to Europe and Asia
-Root systems can change the hydrology of wetlands
-Discovered in Lake Ontario in 1869
-Sold for decades as a decorative ornamental plant, now illegal
-Lowers diversity by overpowering native habitat; cut weed before flower goes to seed.
-DNR successfully implemented a biological control agent (beetles) that lowers pop. density


Flowering Rush

MN Aquatic Invasive Weed 2018

-Present in 36 MN water bodies
-Grows on shorelines, in shallow, slow-moving water
-Grows differently in a submerged form (no flower)
-Inhibits recreation and dominates native habitats, threatening native species
-In Minnesota, only 1 population in Forest Lake produces viable seeds. Other samples are sterile, meaning the plant moves by vegetative spread


Starry Stonewort

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018

Starry Stonewort is not as cool as it sounds.
-It’s a green Macroalgae from Europe & Asia. Present in 7 US states. Currently in 10 Minnesota water bodies.
-Starry Stonewort has not been completely eradicated in any water body in the United States.
-Typically found in low flow areas of lakes. Identifiable by white globules on hair-like tendrils of stem.
-Out-competes native organisms with it’s thick matted growth.


MN Aquatic Invasive Weed 2018

Non-native Phragmites



Brazilian Elodea

Non-native Water Lilies

Brittle Naiad

Non-native Phragmites




MN Aquatic Invasive Weed 2018MN Aquatic Invasive Weed 2018

If you supsect you found Hydrilla in a MN water body, contact the MN Dept. of Natural Resources to report it.


Click on Map for an Interactive Map of MN Infested Waters

MN Trends in Aquatic Invasive Species 2018




Zebra Mussel

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018

Zebra Mussel

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018

Map of US Zebra Mussel Infestation

Spiny Waterflea

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018


Thank you to Wendy Crowell, Grants Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for all your help!





Grass Carp

New Zealand Mud Snail

Sea Lamprey

Faucet Snail

Round Goby

Rusty Crayfish


More Info:

What’s on Tap for MN Plants

Contact a Dept. of Natural Resources Expert for questions, identification, or reporting of an invasive weed

MN Aquatic Invasive Species 2018

To check out who has more lakes, MN or WI, click here.

Weed Razers