It is not too late to Stop Starry in Minnesota:
Starry stonewort represents a significant threat to Minnesota’s lake ecology and lake based tourism:
- Starry stonewort grows from 2 to 25 feet deep,
- It is an algae, and not a vascular plant, and so is more difficult to control with chemical treatments,
- It can grow on many different substrates, but prefers the gravel and sand bottoms used by panfish and bass for spawning,
- Its growth response is triggered by the same water temperature that triggers panfish and bass reproduction,
- It is threatened in its native range because starry stonewort prefers high quality waters,
- Real Estate agents in the Koronis area are starting to notice impacts to both sale prices of lakeshore properties on Koronis and time on the market before sales,
- Recreation of any kind is impossible in a starry stonewort patch.
Starry stonewort was first discovered in Michigan along the shore of Lake St. Clair in the 1980s. By 2000 it had moved to a few inland lakes. Today estimates range from 1000 infested lakes to over 2500 in Michigan.
Currently there are only 14 water bodies infested with Starry Stonewort that represent 28 public boat launches in Minnesota. Now is the best opportunity we will have to contain this species in the lakes where it has been confirmed, and prevent its spread to other Minnesota waters.
The Stop Starry project would place CD3 Boat Cleaning stations at all of the access sites on each of these 14 lakes for three years. The project would build local partnerships with the owners of these sites to increase education, monitoring and inspection services at these lakes to support use of the stations.
According to research the biggest gap in boaters taking the Clean, Drain, Dry Best Management Practices is convenience and lack of the necessary tools:
- A study for the Canadian Council on Invasive Species, found that the most common answer boaters gave in a survey for not fully Cleaning, Draining and Drying their boats was a lack of equipment.
- Recently the MN DNR published a report on their Community Based Social Marketing efforts with regard to AIS Prevention in Minnesota. The report states, “Barriers to engaging in the right behaviors are not strong, however; access to ... tools/equipment, and cleaning space is preventing some anglers from engaging in cleaning activities. Access to these things would motivate them.”
The stop starry project provides the tools at the boat ramp boaters need to take action.