When we think of invasive aquatic species, we often think of nonnative fish that invade our waters, but many invasive plants can cause harm as well. Michigan State University Extension has come up with a quick and easy guide for boaters and paddlers to use to identify certain plant species not native to Michigan that displace native plants, degrade lake habitats and ecosystems, and create problems for people who live on and use our lakes.
MSU fisheries and wildlife specialist Lois Wolfson and MSU senior Extension educator Jane Herbert co-authored A Michigan Boater’s Guide to Selected Invasive Aquatic Plants (E-3189). The small spiral-bound book was produced on water-resistant paper, making it perfect for a boater to bring along for the ride. Full-color photos assist in plant identification. Each of the 11 plants covered includes a description, habitat and distribution, and control and management. Boaters are encouraged to report invasive species sightings using the Midwest Invasive Species website at www.misin.msu.edu.
Because removing the plants once they establish themselves is difficult, the book contains a section on prevention and monitoring so lake users can reduce the chances of an invasion and take immediate action if they do spot an unwelcome intruder.
You can purchase the guide at the MSU Extension Bookstore.