WALKER -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the invasive algae starry stonewort in Leech Lake in Cass County.

A company removing aquatic plants contacted the DNR when its staff suspected finding starry stonewort near Anderson’s Cove Resort in Steamboat Bay. A DNR invasive species specialist confirmed starry stonewort throughout the marina, around and under docks and boats.

Starry stonewort has never been eradicated from any U.S. lake.

With the addition of Leech Lake, starry stonewort has now been confirmed in 18 of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes, including nearby Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish. It was first confirmed in Minnesota in 2015.

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Starry stonewort is an alga that looks similar to native aquatic plants and can form dense mats, which can interfere with use of a lake and compete with native plants. It is most likely spread when fragments have not been properly cleaned from trailered boats, personal watercraft, docks, boat lifts, anchors or other water-related equipment.

Details about starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species are available at mndnr.gov/ais.

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