PAYNESVILLE -- The invasive species starry stonewart has been found in Lake Koronis in Stearns County and Mud Lake in Meeker County.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says these are the first two confirmed cases of the invasive species found in the state.

Photo: Minnesota DNR

Starry stonewart is dense, grass-like algae which can interfere with the use of the lake while choking out native plants and altering the habitats of young fish.

The DNR found the invasive species in 53 acres of Lake Koronis after property owners expressed concern about excessive aquatic vegetation. It was found that starry stonewart is also extending into Mud Lake.

The invasive species was likely spread by lake users who transported parts of the plant from an infected body of water.

The DNR reminds boaters and anglers to drain all water and clean plants and animals from your watercraft to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Photo: Minnesota DNR