I would like to hear the Collaborative’s experts opinion on creating mechanically cleared channels in areas heavily infested with starry stonewort. On Stoney Lake, Ontario we have a busy marina, and cottage resort that are basically full of SSW. Due to the chance of spread by fragmentation is it safer to create cleared boating channels or just leave it alone and allow boats come and go through it? I understand that mechanical harvesting will create fragmentation but Dr. Dan Larkin indicated that the fragments are relatively heavy and won’t drift too far. With boats going through it my worry is that it will be tangled in props and then taken to other locations on the lake. A cleared path may also allow visiting boaters to access the lake or leave the lake without taking it with them. I’d appreciate any feedback.
Lake Koronis, Stearns Co., Minnesota has been maintaining channels for navigation, which have been effective for reducing biomass. Re-growth of starry stonewort is still problematic so multiple trips with a mechanical harvester may be required throughout the growing season. Fragmentation can occur with both boats and a mechanical harvester, therefore; I still would recommend using a mechanical harvester to alleviate the problem areas. Feel free to contact me directly for further insights.
Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist | Invasive Species Program
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
1035 South Benton Drive
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379