Eurasian watermilfoil discovered in Middle Spunk Lake in Stearns County

(Released July 17, 2014)

Eurasian watermilfoil has been discovered growing in Middle Spunk Lake near Avon in Stearns County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

The nonnative, invasive aquatic plant was discovered rooted at various locations along the eastern side of the lake to a depth of nearly 12 feet. The highest densities were found near the public beach and public water access on the northeast shore; the plant was found matted on the surface in other areas as well.

Follow-up inspections were done on both Lower Spunk Lake and Upper Spunk, due to their proximity to Middle Spunk Lake. Eurasian watermilfoil was not found in either of the adjacent lakes after visual inspection.

“Our lakes and rivers are precious natural resources that belong to everyone – so everyone must be responsible for protecting them,” said Christine Jurek, DNR aquatic invasive species specialist. “Make sure your boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic plants and animals, water is drained, and drain plugs are removed before you leave a water access – every time. It takes just a few simple steps to follow the law and prevent the spread of AIS.”

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

The lake will be designated as infested water; signage is already posted at the public access alerting boaters to the new infestation.

Find more information about aquatic invasive species online.