Greater Lake Sylvia Association

Working to maintain and improve Lake Sylvia

AIS    Aquatic Invasive Species 

AIS are non-native plants, animals, and pathogens that live primarily in water, thrive in a new environment,

cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health.

Update on Starry Stonewort (Ssw) Surveys and Treatments

Attached is a five year report of the monitoring and management of starry stonewort at West Lake Sylvia.

It is great news to see how successful management and containment of this species has been over the last 5 years.

Thanks to all those who donated and worked on this project.

Starry Stonewort First Responder Team Formed

If you think you have found SS, please contact the following individuals for a positive ID in the order listed.  If the first person does not pick up call the next in line.  They will visit the site in question within 24 hrs. and report back to the AIS Committee.

  1. Russ Fortner 320-274-8228

  2. Blaine Barkley 320-274-5804

  3. Rick Phipps 763-227-4535

  4. Keith Schaunaman 612-916-0546

Reminder: It Takes Just One.....

GLSA water quality teams have worked for many years to maintain the quality of the lake that draws people from all over central Minnesota to the Annandale area.  Each year Lake Sylvia residents contribute tens of thousands of dollars to maintain the beauty and clarity of the lake.  Many water related issues such as zebra mussels have no cure or any way to manage the issue. They simply degrade the lake over time.   The main point of entry of an invasive specie that will degrade the lake everyone loves to use is a boat landing.  Lake Sylvia pays to have inspectors at the DNR public landing seven days a week, 12 hours a day to inspect the boats that come to enjoy Lake Sylvia. The inspectors are not there to “catch” a boater doing something wrong, they are there to educate the public while protecting the lake.  People that look for ways to launch their boats without inspection using a private landing are the greatest threat to the lake.  It just takes one boat to undo years of work, tens of thousands of dollars in control costs, and hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours to introduce a new unmanageable issue such as spiny water fleas or any of several other issues to the lake.  Don’t Be The One that undoes years of effort  that  keep Lake Sylvia clean, clear, and desirable. Have your boat inspected free of charge by a trained inspector at the public landing. 

Watercraft Inspection Program

photo of watercraft inspector

Background: The Watercraft Inspection Program was created in 1992, in response to legislation proposed by the DNR, Minnesota Lakes Associations, and angling groups.

Goal:  To prevent the spread of invasive species within Minnesota through boater education, watercraft inspections and watercraft decontaminations at public water accesses.

    In 2011, legislation aimed at strengthening Minnesota's ability to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species was signed into law.

    Result: Inspectors can visually and tactilely inspect water-related equipment including the removal, drainage, decontamination or treatment of water-related equipment to prevent the transportation of aquatic invasive species. Inspectors can prohibit the launching or operation of water-related equipment if a person refuses to allow an inspection or doesn't remove water or aquatic invasive species. Inspectors can require a watercraft to be decontaminated prior to launching into Minnesota waters.

    Buttercup is sprouting out in Lake SylWater Buttercup | Aquatic Biologists, Inc.via

    The pretty little white flower that grows to the surface of the lake and now found in several locations is referred to as buttercup. 

    It is a naturally occurring weed in lakes and streams.  There are a combination of conditions that seem to cause it to grow in places that did not previously have it and it seems we now have all of those conditions favorable to its’ growth in several locations.  The DNR website that contains more information about it is

    GLSA uses Lake Restoration to control invasive weeds in the lake and here is their website where you can also learn more and contract with them at your expense to deal with it should it be a problem for you.  

    We mapped all buttercup patches around the lake and found 51 Buttercup sites (see below).

    It also appears that 2020 was a big year for wild rice.

    We recorded all wild rice patches and found it at 64 sites (see map below).

    Click the links below to view the Minnesota DNR Vegetation Management Reports for Lake Sylvia

    East Lake: SylviaEast-Wright-ISP-PI-Report.pdf

    West Lake: SylviaWest-Wright-ISP-PI-Report.pdf

    What's Happening to Minnesota Lakes and Why?

    Check out this informative video on what is happening with Minnesota Lakes and what is causing it!

    The Best Plants to Protect Your Shore

    Click here to read the case study from MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates

    What to do with docks, lifts or other water equipment that have zebra mussels attached:

    Using a high pressure washer would be the most easy way to remove zebra mussels.  A high pressure washer might be able to be rented at Kaz Hardware or the rental center in Buffalo or Monticello.  In many cases your neighbor may have one and is willing to share it.  

    The Wright County Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance to require inspections of all water-related equipment entering East and West Lake Sylvia, Lake John and Pleasant Lake. The video shows the support we are receiving and the interest across the State in this effort

    Seeking to stop starry stonewort - by Juliana Thill in Dockside magazine. (shared with permission).
    The recording of the Starry Stonewort Summit is also available.

    Changing the Mindset on AIS - by Nick Phelps, Jeff Forester in Dockside magazine. (shared with permission).

    Who Represents Me? and Legislative Districts

    Who Represents Me? - Use the district finder to retrieve a list of your representatives with contact information.

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