MAISRC in the News

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.

Tonka Bay Marina Owner, Gabriel Jabbour, Honored for Aquatic Invasive Species Research Support

October 6, 2021

ORONO, Minn. — Minnetonka business owner, Gabriel Jabbour 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.

Snails – the Starry Trek find this year

September 27, 2021

Possibly due to summer’s hot and dry weather, snails were prevalent in the finds of Starry Trek participants in the Aitkin area Aug. 21.

Seven volunteers turned out for the local event, splitting into three teams, visiting 10 lakes. The day included instruction on aquatic vegetation, what to look for and how to sample. If volunteers found anything they felt was unusual or suspicious, they collected a sample and brought it back to the starting point, which was Ripple Lake.

The event was led by Penny Stiles, aquatic invasive species detector and Master Naturalist and Janet Smude, district technician with the Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District. Stiles and Smude inspected an additional six area lakes.

U of M aquatic invasive species research focus of online conference

September 20, 2021

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.  

Update from the field - copper for zebra mussel suppression

September 1, 2021

Zebra mussels are one of the most problematic invasive species in Minnesota, causing significant ecological and economic impacts in waterbodies where they establish. Currently, the main strategy for controlling zebra mussels is preventing their initial introduction. MAISRC is currently exploring what to do once zebra mussels are established. One promising method for control is application of copper-based pesticides (specifically, copper sulfate). 

This past July, our zebra mussel control research team - a collaboration of researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Minnesota - brought a mobile laboratory to the northeast shore of Pelican Lake. There, they spent just under three weeks running experiments with very low concentrations of copper to see how effective those concentrations were at controlling zebra mussel veligers (the larval life stage). Because copper toxicity changes with copper bioavailability, which is dependent on water chemistry, the team used the specific water chemistry of Pelican Lake to select the concentrations used. These experiments provide insight into copper dosages that could one day be used to control zebra mussels and tell us if measuring water chemistry can allow us to select low concentrations that are individually appropriate for each unique lake.

2021 Showcase Online Only

September 1, 2021

2021 Showcase is moving fully online 
Each year, MAISRC hosts a Research and Management Showcase to share real-world solutions to Minnesota's aquatic invasive species problems. When we began planning the 2021 Showcase, we were excited to offer both an in-person and online experience for our attendees. As we began our planning efforts in the spring, the COVID-19 Delta variant had not yet risen to its current levels of cases or widespread concern. As a research center that works toward the goal of minimizing the spread of 'bad actors' into our beloved lakes, we found ourselves needing to take our own advice to reduce the spread of a different kind of bad actor. That said, we are moving forward with our Showcase this year, but online only

Here's how Enemy Swim Lake successfully kept zebra mussels at bay this summer

September 1, 2021

One community in northeastern South Dakota is sharing how it came together to combat an invasive species that threatened its neighboring body of water.

Zebra mussels are not welcome at Enemy Swim Lake in Day County.

When they showed up in Pickerel Lake last summer, Ron Schreiber, a resident around Enemy Swim Lake, fielded a call asking him to join the Enemy Swim Preservation Association. He initially declined because he thought zebra mussels spread from lake to lake by birds carrying them. But after speaking with Meg Duhr and Megan Weber of the University of Minnesota's Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, he learned the spread is more likely caused by boat traffic. If zebra mussels were carried from lake to lake by birds, most lakes in the area would already be infested, Schreiber reasoned.

Starry stonewort search completed on 18 lakes in northern Hubbard County

August 25, 2021

Eleven volunteers from our lakes area trained for an hour on Aug. 21 at the DNR Wolf Lake Management Area undeveloped access on the border of Beltrami and Hubbard counties, where Starry Stonewort (SSW) was discovered during Starry Trek 2018.

The aquatic vegetation piled in front of the team on the viewing sheets is SSW retrieved in one rake toss.

We learned to identify the algae SSW with its grass-like appearance, smooth, thin stems with branchlets in whorls of 5 to 8. We looked, specifically, for uneven forked tips of the branchlets, too, and any presence of star-shaped bulbils on clear rhizoids, like fishline.

We compared it to the smaller, native lookalikes: chara, nitella, sago pondweed and water stargrass.


More Questions Than Answers For Starry Stonewort In Minnesota

August 25, 2021

PAYNESVILLE – Last year’s discovery of starry stonewort in Lake Koronis has made the lake our starting point for learning how to manage this new aquatic invasive species in Minnesota.

And learn we must. “There are more questions than answers for starry stonewort,’’ said Dan Larkin, assistant professor with the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in the Twin cities.

Volunteers needed Aug. 21 to help search for invasive species in Lake Minnetonka

August 10, 2021

Leaders with the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District are inviting community members meet Saturday, Aug. 21, at Excelsior Commons, 135 Lake Street, for a day of searching for starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species.

The Starry Trek event is meant to be a fun and rewarding way to help protect Lake Minnetonka and other waters throughout the state for future generations.

Starry Trek is an annual event where members of the public first gather at training sites to learn how to identify starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species. The newly trained citizen scientists then branch out to local water accesses to search for signs of the invasive species. In 2020, 212 volunteers scoured 292 public water accesses on 238 waterbodies across the state.