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DNR: Starry Stonewort Confirmed In Lake Beltrami Near Bemidji

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the invasive algae starry stonewort was confirmed in Lake Beltrami near Bemidji.

Last August, someone spotted a strand of starry stonewort near the lake's public access. While no other trace of the invasive species was found then, divers found more of the algae in the lake this year.

DNR officials say the invasive algae, which looks like chara but with star-shaped bulbils that appear in late summer, was found in three small areas in the lake.

To halt the spread, divers will pull out the algae in the lake through the end of the summer. Additionally, boat inspections will be expanded.

While the DNR says the starry stonewort has never been successfully removed from any U.S. lake, treatment can help restrict its spread.

Starry stonewort was first discovered in Minnesota in 2015, the DNR says. It currently infests 15 of the state's 11,842 lakes.

Considering now is the time when the plant's iconic bulbils appear, lake-goers that spot the species are encouraged to report it to the DNR.

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