Eurasian watermilfoil in Hubbard County’s Bad Axe Lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed Hubbard County’s first case of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, in Bad Axe Lake near Emmaville.

DNR invasive species specialists confirmed Eurasian watermilfoil around the resort access to the lake. They reported it did not appear to be widespread into other areas of the lake.

Eurasian watermilfoil can limit recreational activities on water bodies by forming mats on the water surface, and can alter aquatic ecosystems by displacing native plants. It is typically spread when plant fragments have not been properly cleaned from trailered boats, personal watercraft, docks, boat lifts, anchors or other water-related equipment.

Treatment options include selective herbicides and mechanical removal, to minimize the plant’s impact while protecting native aquatic plant species. Treatment is unlikely to eradicate Eurasian watermilfoil from a lake. It may minimize impacts, but rarely prevents broader dispersion within a lake.

This new confirmation is a reminder to boaters and anglers to follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Details about Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquatic invasive species are available at mndnr.gov/ais.