MAISRC in the News

More gear coming to help boaters contain invasive starry stonewort algae on Minnesota lakes

January 8, 2022

Starry stonewort is Minnesota's newest aquatic invasive horror story — a spidery, grass-like algae that likes high-quality water, destroys prime fish spawning habitat and forms dense mats that choke out native vegetation and tangle up boat propellers.

It's out there now, growing under the ice. By the state's official count, the algae has spread to 17 lakes and the Mississippi River since it was first discovered in Minnesota on Lake Koronis in 2015.

The algae doesn't go dormant in winter, said Kate Hagsten, plants director with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe's Division of Resource Management.

"It just kind of falls to the bottom," she said.

Even as the snow flies, a new effort is underway to contain the destructive invasive species, as crews in Cass County last week installed four new boat decontamination stations on Lake Winnibigoshish and Cass Lake. They're the first of 28 self-service boat cleaning kiosks going in around the state, part of a $1 million "Stop Starry" project to control the algae.


2022 Request for Proposals

January 3, 2022

We are currently accepting research proposals! The proposals we receive over the next few months will shape the future of AIS research in Minnesota for years to come. More info > Through this competitive proposal process, MAISRC will administer an estimated $1,800,000 to fund high-priority research needs focused on new lines of research and continuation of existing projects. MAISRC conducted a thorough and systematic needs assessment in 2020 that included AIS managers, researchers, and the public, to identify and prioritize research needs that will develop science-based solutions to Minnesota’s AIS problems. This RFP is focused on 18 research priorities that were identified in this process and considered for new lines of research. For information on the proposal submission process for continuation projects, see separate RFP.


New Project Video: Motivations and Risks of Illegal Baitfish Release

January 3, 2022

Baitfish have the potential to spread pathogens such as Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus and Asian tapeworms to wild fish populations. An outbreak of any of these pathogens in Minnesota could lead to major economic, ecological, and societal consequences. Hear from MAISRC Research Fellow, Meg McEachran, on her research looking to identify and quantify the risk pathways of baitfish diseases. Learn more about the project


New Projects Launching This Month

January 1, 2022

Phase III: Genetic Control of Invasive Fish Species
This project focuses on a novel method of biocontrol for common carp that will complement existing technologies by introducing a synthetic species-like barrier to reproduction. In Phase III, researchers will test implantation of immature primordial germ cells and embryonic stem cells into the gametes of sterile adult fish as a means to bypass the 12- to 18-month developmental time for juvenile carp. Researchers will also perform a formal Technology Readiness Assessment with international stakeholder research groups. Learn more about this project >


2021 Starry Trek Recap

October 27, 2021

In August, the AIS Detectors Program team hosted their fifth Starry Trek across Minnesota, and it was once again a huge success for early detection and monitoring efforts. On Saturday, August 21st, 206 volunteers gathered at rendezvous sites throughout the state and searched a total of 281 public accesses on 222 water bodies for starry stonewort and other AIS.


AIS Detectors Volunteer Nearly 3,000 Hours Toward AIS Prevention and Detection in 2020

October 27, 2021

Despite 2020 being an extraordinarily unusual year, AIS Detectors volunteered a total of 2,941 hours toward the prevention and detection of aquatic invasive species across Minnesota this year. 

Coming in with the highest hours was Mary Reuter, with an incredible 576 hours. Mary's dedication earned her the AIS Gold President's Volunteer Service Award from the AIS Detectors Program. 


2021 Research Partnership Award Recipients

October 27, 2021

Four individuals/organizations have been announced as the first ever cohort of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters. Honorees include Gabriel Jabbour, Justine Dauphinais, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLRA), and Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County (PLA). 


Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County Honored for Aquatic Invasive Species Research Support

October 6, 2021

BREEZY POINT, Minn. — Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County has been named one of the first ever recipients of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s (MAISRC) Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters.


Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, Jeff Forester, Honored for Aquatic Invasive Species Research Support

October 6, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, led by Executive Director Jeff Forester, has been
named one of the first ever recipients of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s (MAISRC)
Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and
beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to
protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters.


2021 Research Partnership Award Recipients Announced

October 6, 2021

Four individuals/organizations have been announced as the first ever cohort of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters. Honorees include Gabriel Jabbour, Justine Dauphinais, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLRA), and Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County (PLA). 

  • MAISRC, housed at the University of Minnesota, has grown considerably since its creation in 2012. The Center strives to find real world solutions to reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species on Minnesota’s cherished lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The growth and research findings that have been acquired over the past nine years would not have been possible without the support of dedicated individuals and organizations. In 2021, MAISRC launched the Research Partnership Awards to acknowledge the indispensable role external partners have contributed to the Center’s successes.