U of M aquatic invasive species research focus of online conference

September 20, 2021

By Tim Douglass, Publisher of the Pope County Tribune

Lake lovers and resource managers are invited to attend the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s (MAISRC) Annual Research and Management Showcase that is open for registration and fully online this year. Join MAISRC and their researchers on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 online from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Showcase is an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest in management and control of aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, starry stonewort and zebra mussels.

There should be at least some local interest in this online conference, espeically from those involved in area lake associations, since many of the lakes in Pope County are affected by at least one invasive species.  Lake Minnewaska has infestations of all three, although the starry stonewort was noticed just in the Starbuck marina and has not yet been found in the main lake.  There is a cost, however, of $20 for full-day access.  

This year’s virtual line-up, we’re told,  will have attendees pondering environmental DNA monitoring and genetic biocontrol as the aquatic invasive species surveillance and management tools of the future. Attendees will also hear MAISRC project updates, including the research team studying low-dose copper for zebra mussel suppression that was done at Pelican Lake in 2021. At the Showcase, the team will give an overview of what they were working on this summer and what’s next. New this year, the Showcase will feature a Common Carp Management Panel with four MAISRC Research Fellows. The panel will examine how managers and lakeshore associations can integrate and build off of research to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters.

All sessions will be conducted as Zoom webinars and will allow for typed questions from attendees. With the exception of the Common Carp Management Panel and New Projects Lightning Talk, all other presentations will have two time slots, giving attendees two opportunities to watch each session. Those who can’t view it online at on Sept. 22 can still view it because all presentations will be recorded and will be available for viewing after the Showcase on the MAISRC YouTube channel.

Additional topics at this year’s Showcase will include cattail removal to improve shoreline biodiversity, invasive Phragmites management, preventing the spread of spiny water fleas, improving the efficiency of watercraft inspections and much more. There are no educational, occupational, or location requirements for registration— anyone interested in aquatic invasive species is welcome to attend. View the agenda, session descriptions, and register at www.MAISRC.umn.edu/2021-showcase. 

Funding for the Showcase is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).