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Aquatic invasive species the focus of awareness week.

Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:18 pm

MICHIGAN — Asian carp and other invasive species found in the water continue to threaten Michigan and environmental organizations hope to spread awareness during Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed the week of June 28-July 4 Aquatic Invasice Species Awareness Week with the goal of helping make Michigan residents aware of the threat Asian carp and other species pose to the Great Lakes and other Michigan waters, and inform residents of the need to take action to prevent or control the introduction and spread of these species.

In a press release, distributed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), on behalf of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), aquatic invasive species are defined as non-native organisms that establish themselves outside of their normal range, intentionally or unintentiaonally.

When introduced to these new locations, like lakes, rivers and wetlands, they can harm the location, as well as species inhabiting the area.

Featured during Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week is the second annual Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz. Through this program aimed toward boaters, the DEQ, DNR and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will all partner together with volunteers to help boaters in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species and assuring compliance with laws in place to prevent the spread.

The Landing Blitz will occur at 45 boat landings around the state.

Some of the laws and actions to prevent the spread of invasive species, as required by the state, include:

• Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and trailers before placing the boat in the water.

• Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.

• Dispose of unused bait in the trash, do not release bait in the water.

• Do not transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.

Though anglers are not required by law to follow them, a series of recommended actions have also been compiled to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, including:

• Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats, trailers, gear and dry equipment before leaving the access site. Dispose of these materials in a trash receptacle or other means away from the water body.

• Wash boats, trailers and other equipment before leaving the access area, if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.

• Allow boats and equipment to dry for at least five days before launching boat into a different body of water.

• Disinfect live wells, bilges and other equipment with a solution made of approximately a half cup of bleach and up to five gallons of water.

These additional invasive species awareness events come as Michigan waters face threats from several invasive species, including two Asian carp species and a number of aquatic plants.

Michigan’s inland waters and the Great Lakes attract millions of visitors annually and with 180 invasive species found in the region already, it is important to prevent the spread and introduction of additional species.

To learn more about aquatic invasive species, go to

Summer heat can cause algae blooms.

The first five and a half months of this year have seen the temperatures in our area stay on the cooler side of the seasonal spectrum, but here in the last couple weeks we’ve had more days than not break the 90-degree bubble.

For people who lamented the below-zero thermometer readings and enjoy soaking up the sun, this has been a welcome change, but for others, myself included, I’d trade the sticky summer sauna for a crisp fall day in a heartbeat.

Sun-loving humans aren’t the only ones enjoying this climatic shift. If you own a pond or live near a lake, you have undoubtedly noticed a change in the aquatic ecosystems from all this warm weather. The summer heat coupled with longer days and the large amount of rainfall we’ve experienced have created the perfect conditions for algae and aquatic plant growth, and I have received several calls recently regarding this sudden explosion of growth.

Most aquatic plants start reaching maximum growth potential once water temperatures rise above 70 degrees or so, and the recent storms have carried a lot of nutrients off lawns and fields into bodies of water. Fertilizer for your grass has the same effect on aquatic plants if it enters a pond or lake, so when we get runoff from heavy rains, this can lead to explosive algae blooms.

Lake Erie and Buckeye Lake are in the news quite frequently when blooms of cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as blue-green algae, can lead to harmful levels of the microcystin toxin in the water. This toxin can be harmful to humans and animals if the concentration reaches a high enough level, but luckily this occurs primarily in large, nutrient-rich bodies of water and is not very common in small private ponds and lakes.

Most problems homeowners face are caused by true aquatic plants or the ubiquitous filamentous algae that can form the mats of floating “moss” that plague fishermen and swimmers every summer. Another common problem that creates concern among pond owners is often an infestation of duckweed and watermeal that will completely cover a pond’s surface and create a “scummy” look from a distance. Both of these issues can be unsightly and create problems for aquatic life, but pose no health threat to humans.

Additionally, there are a host of other aquatic plants, both submergent and emergent, that can detract from aesthetics and water quality that often pop up in the summer months. While a certain level of aquatic vegetation is beneficial to fish and other aquatic life, too much growth can not only restrict use of the water body, but also can lead to oxygen crashes and fish kills.

I frequently make site visits to ponds around the county this time of year when landowners experience problems with aquatic vegetation. This service is available for anyone in the county and appointments can be made by contacting me at the Soil and Water office.

Tommy Springer is the conservation technician and wildlife specialist for the Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be reached at 740-653-8154.

State announces $3.6 million in available grant funding to combat invasive species in Michigan

June 15, 2015

Contact: Joanne Foreman, 517-284-5814 or Kammy Frayre, 517-284-5970

State announces $3.6 million in available grant funding to
combat invasive species in Michigan

Funding proposals for 2015 are now being accepted through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, with an anticipated $3.6 million available to applicants. The program – a joint effort of the Michigan departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development – is part of a statewide initiative launched in 2014 to help prevent and control invasive species in Michigan.

The 2015 grant program handbook outlining focus areas and information on how to apply is available on the DNR website The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program supports projects throughout the state that prevent, detect, manage and eradicate invasive species on the ground and in the water. Total grant funding is set by the Legislature and the governor during the annual budget cycle.

Administered by the DNR, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program targets four key objectives:

  • Preventing new introductions of invasive species through outreach and education.
  • Monitoring for new invasive species as well as expansions of current invasive species.
  • Managing and controlling key colonized species in a strategic manner.
  • Responding to and conducting eradication efforts for new findings and range expansions.

“These grants offer a great opportunity to expand crucial efforts to battle invasive species in Michigan’s woods and waters,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh.

“Partnerships like this are vital to protecting our world-class natural resources,” Creagh added. “There is an enormous need to work together to address invasive species in our state, and just as big a willingness by residents, agencies and other stakeholders to get the job done. This grant funding will go a long way toward achieving that success.”

Local, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities may apply for funding to support invasive species projects conducted in Michigan.  For this 2015 funding cycle, pre-proposals will be accepted through July 31 and requested full proposals are due by Oct. 30.

Grant requests for 2015 projects can range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $400,000. Applicants must commit to provide at least 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of a local match. Proposals with match levels above 10 percent will receive higher ranking.

Competitive applications will outline clear objectives, propose significant ecological benefits, demonstrate diverse collaboration and show strong community support.

2014 grant funding outcomes In 2014, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program provided more than $4 million to fund 19 projects including the development or expansion of Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, which now operate in 66 of Michigan’s 83 counties. These cooperatives detect, map and manage invasive phragmites, Japanese and giant knotweed, flowering rush and other non-native species that can cause economic or environmental harm. Additional awards focused on:

  • Finding new approaches to treating aquatic invasive plants.
  • Reducing the spread of oak wilt and preventing new forest invaders.
  • Raising public awareness and participation in identifying and reporting invasive species.

Informational grant workshops in June and July
Those interested in undertaking invasive species projects in Michigan and considering applying for a grant are encouraged to attend one of four upcoming workshops scheduled in Mackinaw City (June 25), Munising (June 26), Hastings (June 30) and Detroit (July 7).

Attendees will learn about program goals, 2015 focus areas, applicant eligibility and the application procedure. Optional discussion sessions to help connect groups interested in developing Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas will be held following the workshops at the two southern Michigan locations.

To register for one of these grant workshops or to learn more about the invasive species initiative, current projects and the 2015 grant program, visit

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

MI: Aquatic invader, European Frogbit, affected by shading treatments

New York study suggests non-chemical shading treatments can reduce plant biomass of European Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L.).

According to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network, the occurrence of the invasive aquatic plant known as European Frog-bit has so far been limited to the east side of our state. The discovery of a Frog-bit infestation in Alpena in 2013 is detailed in a previous Michigan State University Extension article.

Resembling a small water lily, European Frog-bit is an attractive aquatic plant and a favorite of water gardeners. It grows in a dense mat and can out compete native plants for space and light. As there is no aquatic herbicide proven safe and effective in the treatment of this escapee other control measures must be explored. Researchers in New York published a study in June 2014 detailing their investigation of the use of shade as a possible control measure.

Previous studies have shown that, like many plants, European Frog-bit is dependent upon light for growth and light-deprivation may significantly reduce plant biomass. This research project was conducted in a greenhouse (under controlled temperature and light conditions) and also in a sheltered inlet on Oneida Lake – one of the New York Finger Lakes. Plants were covered with a range of densities of shade cloth to block out some or all light.

Results of the New York study indicated that, under greenhouse conditions, 50 percent or greater shading affected frog-bit growth and no plants survived at 100 percent shading levels. Results of the in-lake study indicated that biomass was significantly reduced by 70 percent or greater shading. Overall, the effects of shading on in-lake water temperatures, dissolved oxygen and existing submerged plant communities were varied.

For a more in-depth summary of the New York study findings, along with a link to the full study, please visit the Lake Scientist website. A handy boater’s guide to selected aquatic invasive plants is available from Michigan State University Extension.

WI:DNR, residents wage counterattack on invasive plant in Little Muskego Lake


After the discovery in September of the invasive starry stonewort in Little Muskego Lake, community members and the state Department of Natural Resources are beginning a counter assault on the destructive aquatic plant.

The form of algae was reported for the first time in Wisconsin last year in506-acre Little Muskego Lake in Waukesha County.

A property owner, Lisa Niles, said she was saddened when she heard about the plant and the effect it has had on other lakes.

“It’s really such a fragile ecosystem,” said Niles, vice president of the Little Muskego Lake Association. “You hate for something like this to happen. It really upsets the apple cart.”

Beginning next month, divers will try to remove all the plants, which are scattered in patches over the 3-acre area of the lake, Niles said.

A hitchhiker from Europe and Asia, it has wreaked havoc on Michigan lakes and prompted an expert on the topic to tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last year that some lakes in Michigan “almost look like an underwater golf course.”

Sarah LeSage, aquatic invasive species program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said starry stonewort has spread rapidly since it was found in 1986 in Lake St. Clair near Detroit.

The plant is known to inhabit more than 250 lakes in Michigan.

In Wisconsin, the plant is one of more than 30 invasive aquatic species to attack state waterways. In the case of the starry stonewort, dense mats crowd out native plants, wiping out habitat for juvenile fish.

In June, scuba divers trained by the DNR will start to pick up the plants from the bottom of Wentland Bay on the west side of the lake. Niles said that divers need to make sure they remove the entire plant, including the root system, otherwise it will grow back.

Buoys in the bay with signs will ask boaters to avoid the area. City of Muskego employees and volunteers will staff the busiest boat landing, Idle Isle, on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays — the three busiest days for lake traffic — to inspect boats coming in and out of the lake for signs of the plant.

In August, divers from a commercial company will begin vacuuming plants from the lake bottom.

“We think we really have a good chance of controlling it,” Niles said.

In Michigan, officials say the plant has been hard to eradicate. It can regrow from pieces not harvested.

Lisa E. Huberty, who works on aquatic invasive species for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said the use of mechanical harvesters in Michigan has been counterproductive.

The harvesters seem to be spreading infestations on some lakes.

Because of starry stonewort’s limited distribution in Little Muskego Lake, the DNR thinks hand pulling and vacuuming will be more effective than using chemicals.

The cost of the project will be shared by the city, lake association, DNR and Little Muskego Lake District, Niles said.

In recent years, the DNR and Little Muskego Lake Association have stocked 3,000 young walleye on the lake. Working with the Wisconsin Bowfishing Association, more than 3,500 carp have been removed.

About Lee Bergquist

author thumbnailLee Bergquist covers environmental issues and is author of “Second Wind: The Rise of the Ageless Athlete.”

IN: Lake Lemon Receives Grants To Address Invasive Aquatic Plants

Lake Lemon Receives Grants To Address Invasive Aquatic Plants
Updated May 4, 2015 3:51 PM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(UNDATED) – Department of Natural Resources grants totaling more than $447,000 will be used to fight invasive aquatic vegetation in Indiana’s lakes.

The grants were awarded by DNR director Cameron F. Clark through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The 36 projects involve 55 lakes in 13 counties including Lake Lemon in Monroe and Brown counties which received $5,000. The lakes were selected from applications submitted by local sponsors who share at least 20 percent of the total cost. The LARE grants are “user-funded/user-benefiting” generated through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

These grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own.

“By targeting treatments to address invasive plants in lakes, we achieve goals of improving aquatic habitat while enhancing recreational opportunities for fishing and boating,” said Mark Reiter, director of DNR Fish & Wildlife.

Lake users will benefit from efforts to control or manage aggressive non-native species, including Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and starry stonewort, that can take over and clog lakes. The grants can also provide economic benefits to lake communities by improving and increasing public access opportunities for those who fish or pleasure-boat.

Water body, county, grant award:

  • Adams Lake (LaGrange) $14,140
  • Atwood Lake (LaGrange) $6,000
  • Backwater Lake (Kosciusko) $2,500
  • Barbee Lakes Chain area: Kuhn, Barbee, Little Barbee, Irish, Sawmill, Banning and Sechrist lakes (Kosciusko) $5,000
  • Bass Lake (Starke) $18,800
  • Beaver Dam & Loon lakes (Kosciusko) $2,555
  • Big Long Lake (LaGrange) $18,000
  • Big Turkey and Henry lakes (Steuben and LaGrange) $31,000
  • Bruce Lake (Fulton and Pulaski) $5,000
  • Center Lake (Kosciusko) $16,600
  • Chapman Lakes area: Big Chapman and Little Chapman lakes (Kosciusko) $22,112
  • City of LaPorte area: Clear Lake (LaPorte) $7,200
  • City of LaPorte area: Pine and Stone lakes (LaPorte) $28,972
  • Crooked Lake (Steuben) $11,500
  • Four Lakes area: Mill Pond, Kreighbaum, Cook and Holem lakes (Marshall) $14,800
  • Hamilton Lake (Steuben) $8,000
  • Hudson Lake (LaPorte) $12,200
  • Jimmerson Lake (Steuben) $22,500
  • Koontz Lake (Marshall) $8,800
  • Lake George (Steuben) $10,875
  • Lake Lemon (Monroe and Brown) $5,000
  • Lake of the Woods (Marshall) $12,400
  • Lake Pleasant (Steuben) $9,280
  • New Lake (Gibson) $14,800
  • Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes (LaGrange) $5,200
  • Pretty Lake (LaGrange) $13,600
  • Skinner Lake (Noble) $4,000
  • Stone and Brokesha lakes (LaGrange) $11,880
  • Sylvan Lake (Noble) $5,000
  • Tippecanoe Lake Chain: Tippecanoe, James and Oswego lakes (Kosciusko) $31,500
  • Valparaiso area-Flint Lake (Porter) $20,000
  • Valparaiso area-Long Lake (Porter) $2,500
  • Wall Lake (LaGrange) $11,720
  • Wawasee and Syracuse lakes (Kosciusko) $20,875
  • Webster Lake (Kosciusko) $5,000
  • West Otter Lake (Steuben) $7,700

Total – $447,009


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DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

Press Release

Feb. 26, 2015

Contact: Tammy Newcomb, 517-284-5832; Kammy Frayre, 517-284-5970; or
Ed Golder, 517-284-5815

DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

  • Map and treat of oak wilt (a serious disease that can kill oak trees) in Alpena, Dickinson and Menominee counties.
  • Enhance the regional collaboration of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters campaign to support prevention, outreach and education efforts statewide.
  • Better integrate aquatic invasives plan management by evaluating, refining and expanding tools and resources available in Southwest Michigan.

The full list of grant recipients, project descriptions and grant amounts is available on the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program Web page.

“These grants will fund crucial work in battling invasive species, which pose a significant threat to Michigan’s world-class natural resources,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “State agencies can’t undertake this effort alone. Partnerships are vital to keeping our waters, woods and coasts thriving as healthy ecosystems, while at the same time providing the economic and recreational benefits that citizens expect from their outdoor experiences.”

The initiative is made possible through funding first proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder and approved by the Michigan Legislature. The governor and Legislature devoted $5 million in ongoing funding to fight invasive species beginning in the 2015 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015). A minimum of $3.6 million of the funding is to be devoted to grants, with additional grant funding possible. This year, $4 million of the funding will be put toward grants.

The DNR began accepting grant applications in October 2014. The department received 68 applications, totaling more than $15 million in proposals. Grant applicants were asked to commit to provide at least 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of a local match. Projects funded in this grant cycle must be completed by Oct. 30, 2016.

Applicants – which included a variety of conservation districts and organizations, universities and homeowners associations – were encouraged to submit projects that demonstrated regional collaboration; directly addressed the prevention, detection, eradication or control of priority invasive species; and would result in large ecological benefits with regional and statewide implications.

“Clearly, there is an enormous need and a great willingness on the part of people to work together to address invasive species in Michigan,” said Tammy Newcomb, senior water policy advisor for the DNR, the agency that will administer the grant program. “We look forward to continuing this important work with next year’s grants program.”

Those interested in learning more about the Invasive Species Grant Program should visit:

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to