PAYNESVILLE -- Mechanical harvesting of Starry Stonewart pulled an estimated 260,000 pounds of the invasive weed from Lake Koronis in Paynesville this summer. It's year two of a plan to try to manage the fast-spreading invasive species.

Koronis Lake Association spokesman Kevin Farnum says after mechanical pulling and four chemical treatments on a pilot project area in 2016, they've found a 99% reduction success rate there.

The group began chemical treatments on this year's 3 1/2 acres last week and next, they'll look to try only chemical treatments on a third project area without mechanical pulling.

Typically, the chemical treatment-only method has resulted in what's been described as a "haircut". But, Farnum says they're trying a new approach...

We're using an application process that has hoses with weights on the bottom so they ride right along the bottom.  We'll chill the chemicals before we put them in and the whole purpose of that is to try to get as low as we can.  So, we might not be giving it a haircut, but we might be cutting off its legs.

The lake association is using a $400,000 grant from the Initiative Foundation and $200,000 from the state legislature to come up with a sustainable management plan for the 3,000-acre lake which can then become a national treatment model for Starry Stonewart.

Starry Stonewart - Photo courtesy of Kevin Farnum
Starry Stonewart - Photo Courtesy of Kevin Farnum