Eurasian watermilfoil discovered in Clear Lake near Watkins

(Released August 19, 2013)

Eurasian watermilfoil has been discovered growing in Clear Lake near the town of Watkins in northern Meeker County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

An initial discovery was made by DNR Fisheries specialists on the west side of the lake. A plant sample was brought to Hutchinson DNR office. A subsequent inspection of the lake showed Eurasian watermilfoil growing primarily along the western shore of the lake, but also found sparse growth of plants in the north bay of the lake and along the northeast shore.

Eurasian watermilfoil can form dense mats of vegetation and crowd out native aquatic plants, clog boat propellers and interfere with water recreation.

Clear Lake covers 529 acres and has a maximum depth of 18 feet.  It has DNR public accesses on north and south ends of lake.

“Boaters and anglers who use Clear Lake are urged to be extra thorough when looking for and removing aquatic plants from their boats, trailers, anchors, decoys and other equipment,” said Nicholas Brown, DNR aquatic invasive species specialist. “It is unlawful in Minnesota to transport aquatic plants or prohibited invasive species or to launch watercraft with them attached.”

Eurasian watermilfoil has now been discovered in more than 260 lakes, rivers or streams in Minnesota.

The lake will be designated as an infested water and the public access will be signed to alert boaters.

More information about aquatic invasive species, how to inspect water equipment, and a current infested waters list can be found at www.mndnr.gov/ais.