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STOPPING MILFOIL The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment. Anglers and boaters are required by law to: •Drain bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access. •Remove aquatic plants from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species. •Pull the plug on their boat and drain all water when leaving all waters of the state. •Keep the drain plug out while transporting water-related equipment. More information on Eurasian watermilfoil and other aquati...

Milfoil found in Lake L'Homme Dieu

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Eurasian watermilfoil has been discovered growing in Lake L'Homme Dieu in Alexandria, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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A small patch of the nonnative, invasive aquatic plant was discovered by an angler June 27 in the middle of the lake between the Krueger's Creek and Rotary Beach public accesses.

It was later verified by a DNR staff aquatic plant biologist.

One of Alexandria's premier lakes, L'Homme Dieu is part of a connected chain of lakes, which includes Carlos, Darling, Geneva and Victoria.

The milfoil news was a disappointing blow for the L'Homme Dieu Lake Association.

"It's really distressing to us as a lake association," said Dennis Cin, treasurer of the group. "First we had the 'good fortune' of having zebra mussels and now, Eurasian milfoil."

The board hasn't met yet to discuss the next step but it plans to work closely with the DNR to stop the noxious weed from spreading.

Cin noted that he's talked to a worker with Professional Lake Management that the lake association and others have hired to control the growth of weeds such as coon tail and curley pond leaf. Cin said the worker told him that the company treated a 50-acre area on a lake that had milfoil about four years ago and it hasn't come back. Spot treatment may be an option the association will explore, Cin said.

Eurasian watermilfoil has now been discovered in more than 220 lakes, eight rivers or streams in Minnesota.

Lake L'Homme Dieu is the second body of water in Douglas County found to have this invasive aquatic plant. The plant was discovered in Oscar Lake near Holmes City in 1992.

The DNR is conducting further surveys to determine the extent of distribution of the Eurasian watermilfoil in L'Homme Dieu.

Also, the agency said it will work with local groups and citizens to manage the invasive plant.

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

In Minnesota, this invasive plant has caused problems by producing extensive mats, especially where water depths are less than 15 feet, water clarity is high, and the fertility of the bottom ranges from moderate to high.

Eurasian watermilfoil growth can be controlled but the plant usually cannot be eradicated, according to the DNR.

To help stop aquatic hitchhikers such as Eurasian watermilfoil, the DNR urges boaters to be extra thorough in examining their boats before they leave a water access.

Minnesota law prohibits boaters from transporting water from infested waters, aquatic plants from infested waters, and other prohibited invasives. Boaters may not launch watercraft with invasive species attached.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of several aquatic hitchhikers, including Eurasian watermilfoil.

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