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Which water bodies in the St. Cloud-area have been added to the infested waters list?

St. Cloud Times logo St. Cloud Times 7/21/2022 Sarah Kocher, St. Cloud Times

One Stearns County lake and one Wright County lake have been added to the list of infested water bodies in Minnesota this year.

Both Grand Lake south of Rockville in Stearns County and Pulaski Lake in Buffalo in Wright County were listed for zebra mussels. There were 11 water bodies with new aquatic invasive species listings in Minnesota in 2022.

Rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands are added to the infested waters list if they "contain an aquatic invasive species that could spread to other waters," according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Water bodies can also be included on the list if they are connected to another water body where an aquatic invasive species lives. Water bodies receive separate listings for different species, and therefore could be listed multiple times or in multiple years.

As of early July, there were 44 total listings in Stearns County, 71 in Sherburne County and two in Benton County. These counts include listings shared with other counties for water bodies that cross county lines. Benton County has fewer lakes than Sherburne County, which in turn has fewer lakes than Stearns County. Benton County has six public watercraft trailer launches, Sherburne County has 17 trailer launches and Stearns County has 53 trailer launches (though public accesses, including trailer launches and carry-in launch sites, are just one of several ways aquatic invasive species could get into a water body).

More:How does aquatic invasive species prevention vary in St. Cloud-area counties?

The most common aquatic invasive species listing among these four counties is Eurasian watermilfoil (60 total listings), followed closely by zebra mussels (57 listings).

Statewide, the reverse is true: zebra mussel has been the cause of the most aquatic invasive species listings (546 listings), followed by Eurasian watermilfoil (406 listings).

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Six water bodies among these Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties were listed for starry stonewort and three for flowering rush.

Altogether, there are 17 aquatic invasive species that would, if present, cause a water body to be included on the infested waters list. They are:

  • bighead carp
  • Brazilian waterweed
  • brittle naiad
  • Eurasian watermilfoil
  • faucet snail
  • flowering rush
  • grass carp
  • New Zealand mud snail
  • red swamp crayfish
  • round goby
  • ruffe
  • silver carp
  • spiny waterflea
  • starry stonewort
  • viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS)
  • white perch
  • zebra mussel

More:DNR inspection crews offer decontamination option to prevent zebra mussel spread

Of those, 16 have been found in Minnesota waters. There are no water bodies currently listed for Brazilian waterweed by the DNR. There are three reports of Brazilian waterweed that caused the University of Georgia's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health to claim a positive infestation status in Minnesota (two in Hennepin County and one in St. Louis County), but all the confirmed positive reports are more than 10 years old.

According to the DNR, about 8% of Minnesota's lakes are on the infested waters list, and less than 4% of them are reported as infested with zebra mussels.

Find the full list of infested waters here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais/infested.html.

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Which water bodies in the St. Cloud-area have been added to the infested waters list?

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