It is with disappointment I share the news that Starry Stonewort, an aquatic invasive species plant, has been found growing in Clearwater Lake. It was detected on Monday, August 21st, by Steve McComas of Blue Water Science while conducting the 2023 point intercept survey of Clearwater Lake. The survey, done every 3 years, was completed on August 22nd. No additional Starry Stonewort was found.
Clearwater Lake becomes the 26th lake in the state to be infested & only the second lake where it was not found at a boat landing. An estimated 1.8 acres of Starry Stonewort growth was found in an isolated bay and because of its location, went undetected for perhaps 2-3 years. If not for the point intercept survey, the infested area & threat of spread would have remained undetected and unrecognized. The area of infestation is in the East Basin and will be marked by a perimeter of signs:
September 5, 2023
I hope everyone had an eventful and safe Labor Day holiday weekend. I wanted to take a moment to offer an update on where we stand in the management of the newly discovered Starry Stonewort (SS).
The discovery of SS in Clearwater Lake happened during a scheduled point intercept survey of lake vegetation by our contractor, Blue Water Science, on August 21st. I’d like to give a timeline, perhaps benefiting all of us, on how our treatment response has been unfolding:
1. Late night August 21st: Bluewater Science contacted me with the discovery of SS in Clearwater Lake, East Basin, south shore bay. The area is the water inlet from Pleasant Lake known to have SS since 2018.
2. August 22nd: Notification sent to our treatment contractor Lake Restoration about the find as well as state agencies including MN DNR, Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD), Wright Soil & Water District (WSWD) and the CLPO board.
3. August 22nd: I was notified by Blue Water Science that the point intercept survey was complete and no more SS was found in the lake.
4. August 22nd & 23rd: After CLPO board discussion, a decision is made to mark the SS infested area with signs to keep the infestation contained. We found that marking such areas is not something done by the DNR or our treating contractor.
5. August 24th: Steve McComas of Blue Water Science shares maps & shapefiles of the infested area which measures to be 1.85 acres in size at an average depth of 5 feet.
6. August 28th: The CLPO and DNR make a public announcement about the presence of SS in Clearwater Lake after verification by the DNR specialist.
7. August 29th: The CLPO board expresses concern to the watershed (CRWD) about possible SS infestation in the waterways between Pleasant Lake and Clearwater Lake.
8. August 30th: CRWD contracts with Blue Water science for surveys of the connecting waterways.
9. August 31st: 14 floating signs marking the infested area are placed in advance of the Labor Day holiday weekend.
10. September 1st: Notification from Lake Restoration that the shapefiles of the infested area for the presence of 1.8 acres of SS have been verified by the DNR and after a mandatory 48 hour wait period, treatment will begin.
11. September 5th: Notification of first treatment completed by Lake Restoration.
More information will follow as our plan for management progresses. The CLPO board has a scheduled meeting for Monday, September 18th where I will update the members and introduce for discussion & approval, (1) a dive in October by Blue Water Science to survey treatment results and (2) contract for another point intercept (PI) survey of the lake next summer. Remember the PI survey is completed every 3-years but based on our recent findings, I believe it to be well worth repeating next year.
We will continue to offer updates through the CLPO website and the upcoming fall newsletter in late October. I want to also encourage everyone to help in our efforts by maintaining your CLPO membership & encouraging those that haven’t joined to consider doing so. Times like these, I (we) need your membership support and donations.
Paul Pattee AIS Manger Clearwater Lake Property Owners