Northern Eurasian Milfoil
_Eurasian milfoil is an extremely aggressive exotic aquatic macrophyte that is considered to be problematic to native plant and animal species. Milfoil forms very dense mats of vegetation which compete with and crowd out native aquatic plants. Eurasian milfoil starts spring growth sooner than native aquatic plants. As a result, milfoil robs oxygen and sunlight from native species. Fish species are also adversely affected by this change in plant growth. While some species of waterfowl will eat milfoil, it is not considered to be a good food source. Dense mats of Eurasian milfoil can also interfere with recreational activities, create a good habitat for mosquitoes, and trap sediments.
Eurasian milfoil, which was once commonly sold as an aquarium plant, originates from Europe and Asia, but was introduced to North America many years ago and is now found over much of the United States. Milfoil is able to reproduce very successfully and rapidly through the formation of plant fragments. In the late summer and fall the plants become brittle and naturally break apart. These fragments will float to other areas, sink, and start new plants. A new plant can start from a tiny piece of a milfoil plant. This is why milfoil can so easily be transported from lake to lake on boat trailers or fishing gear.
There are multiple species of milfoil, so identifying an individual species can prove to be difficult. Here are some tips to identify Eurasian milfoil from the native milfoils.
LMPOA needs your help to combat milfoil in Lake Margrethe! We have hired PLM, Professional Lake Management, to help us treat the larger beds of milfoil in the lake. We have been treating the lake as needed every year. To read more click here. A team of loyal LMPOA members also mapped the entire lake for all types of vegetation, including milfoil and other invasive species in 2002 & 2012. Our work continues every spring, monitoring milfoil and all vegetation on the lake. You can also contribute to the milfoil fund. Click here. We are always looking for volunteers! If you are interested, please email Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zebra Mussel is a small freshwater mussel. This species was originally native to the lakes of southeast Russia, however, it has been accidentally introduced in many other areas. Zebra Mussels were first introduced to the Great Lakes in 1988. Zebra Mussels get their name from a striped pattern which is commonly seen on their shells, though not all shells bear this pattern. They are usually about the size of a fingernail, but can grow to a maximum length of nearly 2 inches. Zebra Mussels attach to most substrates including sand, silt, and rock. Zebra Mussels frequently attach to, and often kill species of native mussels.
Effects of the Zebra Mussel on the ecosystems of Michigan lakes are conflicting. Zebra Mussels can grow so densely that they can cause damage to boats, buoys, and waterways. They are also believed to be the source of deadly avian botulism poisoning, which has killed tens of thousands of birds in the Great Lakes since the late 1990's. They are also responsible for the near extinction of many species by out-competing native species for food and by attaching to native clams and mussels. However, Zebra Mussels are also credited with increased populations of Smallmouth Bass and Yellow Perch in some areas, due to the fact that these species eat the mussels. Zebra Mussels are also extremely productive filter-feeders and as a result, they filter out pollutants. Therefore, Zebra Mussels can actually increase water visibility.