Greater Lake Sylvia Association

Working to maintain and improve Lake Sylvia


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!


September 5, 2018

This is a courtesy notice. Greater Lake Sylvia Association (GLSA) will have the area around the public access on the west shore of the west lake, including a short distance into Shootin' Holler Bay adjoining the access channel,  treated for starry stonewort (SSW) on Tuesday, September 11 by a professional chemical applicator, weather permitting.  See the attached map of the area to be treated.  As part of the treatment, multiple measurements of the amount of chemical in the water are taken from a second boat or kayak to insure compliance with the amount of chemical allowed by the permit for SSW treatment.  The treatment for SSW has been approved by the MN DNR that owns the access and has jurisdiction over the lake and chemicals used in the lake.   Bright colored signs with water use instructions/limitations will be posted on the shoreline of areas close to the impacted treatment area or will be attached to a colorful float.  The chemical is considered safe for lake use by the DNR at permitted levels.  A copy of the label listing permitted uses and cautions is attached.  If you choose to read the label, read all of it for the best understanding.  GLSA contracts for the liquid version of this chemical that flows down weighted hoses to the bottom of the lake eliminating chemical drift in the air and GLSA does water testing for several days after application with reports furnished to the MNDNR.  In the future, GLSA will send GLSA members email courtesy notices in advance identifying areas and dates of intended treatments contracted for by GLSA to help you plan lakefront activities.  Keep in mind we try to treat invasive species midweek when the fewest number of people are using the lake.  There are no other planned chemical treatments for the balance of this year for Eurasian milfoil or curly leaf pondweed.  There may be one more SSW treatment in October in the public access area if needed. 

Since there are many companies that do chemical applications to lakes and several homeowners on Lake Sylvia contract directly with them to treat their beach area for any of a number of reasons GLSA does not treat, it may be possible that you find someone else treating water near your property.  GLSA is not given any notice of others that have a permit for treatment of their beachfront area and is not involved with those treatments.  

 Blaine Barkley

GLSA Invasive Species Chairperson

Cutrine Plus Label.pdf

2018 Sylvia SSW Sample Sites Around Public Access- August 27.jpg

Starry Stonewort Summit 2017

The Starry Stonewort Summit was co-sponsored by the Greater Lake Sylvia and Koronis Lake Associations.

It was held on Saturday April 22nd, 2017 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

If you were unable to attend, you can watch the summit online here.

Starry Stonewort Treatment Plan 2017

Updated 5/20/2017

This is a short summary of our conference call with Dr. Rodgers, his graduate student, Steve McComas, and members from the AIS committee. 

Based on their testing of the sediment sample, water sample, and SSw sample, they are recommending the use of liquid Cutrine Plus, an algaecide with an alternative chemical, Clearigate, if Cutrine is not available.

It will be applied using the “trailing hose” method where the chemical is moved down through the water either in a hose or a pipe until it is near the SSw on the lake bottom which should result in almost instant killing.

Steve McComas will have been out diving on the 24th to GPS mark the specific areas where either plants are found or sprouts are emerging from the sediment and will be the basis for where we will be precision treating.  Steve will determine if the SSw is still within the previously discovered areas or if it has spread outside that area, will  look at the density of the plants in a given area, the dispersion of the plants, and from that and in consultation with Dr. Rodgers, we may ask for an amended application permit.

Precision application such as is planned will keep us from having to close the access to boating and prevent us from having to put up a barrier although our intention is to treat very early in the morning before boaters arrive or the wind picks up.  

Treatment will depend on calm wind conditions and a dye will be placed in the water so that McCommas and Dr. Rodgers student, who will be present, can monitor movement of the water and time the chemical will stay in place.

Specifications, including have an ice chest on board the boat doing the application to keep the chemical as dense as possible prior to injecting it into the lake which will increase the concentration level of the chemical on each plant.

Dr. Rodgers suggested the requirements to be used in the request for proposals that have been sent to applicators.  RFPs have already been sent and we are starting to receive responses.  Before any chemicals are applied, the AIS committee will insure that the applicator is meeting all of the requirements as specified by Dr. Rodgers and confirmed by his student at the boat landing site.

After the chemicals have been applied Steve McCommas and Dr. Rodgers student will assess the results of the application of chemical.

Our permit that has been sent to the DNR requests the potential of multiple applications as additional plant material sprouts or starts to grow a week, two weeks, or whatever later time  as determined by divers.  We have been notified by the DNR that all SSw chemical applications now have to be approved by a committee and additional specific information provided. We anticipate application by the middle of June or thereabout.

Starry stonewort are grass-like algae that are not native to North America. The plant was first confirmed in Minnesota in Lake Koronis, near Paynesville in Stearns County, in late August of 2015. Plant fragments were probably brought into the state on a trailered watercraft from infested waters in another state. In August of 2016, starry stonewort was confirmed in several north-central Minnesota lakes in Beltrami, Itasca and Cass counties. DNR invasive species staff found that a number of other reports of suspected infestations were native species that appear similar to starry stonewort.   

What is starry stonewort?

How to identify starry stonewort?

Starry stonewort is similar in appearance to native grass-like algae such as other stoneworts and musk-grass. Native stoneworts and musk-grass are both commonly found in Minnesota waters. Starry stonewort can be distinguished from other grass-like algae by the presence of star-shaped bulbils.

There is an very good video on identifying Starry Stonewort on YouTube.

Starry Stonewort

Starry stonewort pulled from Minnesota's Lake Koronis

If you suspect you have found a new infestation of starry stonewort, or any other invasive species, note the exact location, take a photo or keep the specimen, and contact the DNR.

Why is starry stonewort a problem?

Starry stonewort can interfere with recreational and other uses of lakes where it can produce dense mats at the water's surface. These mats are similar to, but can be more extensive than, those produced by native vegetation. Dense starry stonewort mats may displace native aquatic plants.

Like all plants, starry stonewort may grow differently in different lakes, depending on many factors. At this time, we cannot predict how it might grow in any one Minnesota lake.

How does it spread?

Starry stonewort is believed to be spread from one body of water to another by the unintentional transfer of plant fragments and bulbils, the star-like structures produced by the plant. These fragments, or mud containing them, can be transferred on trailered boats, personal watercraft, docks, boat lifts, anchors or any other water-related equipment that is not properly cleaned.

What can people do to prevent its spread?

The most important action you can take to limit the spread of starry stonewort and other non-native aquatic plants is Clean, Drain, DisposeClean all vegetation, animals, mud and debris from your watercraft and any water-related equipment before you move it from one body of water to another. Drain all water from your watercraft and bait bucket, keep drain plugs out during transport, and Dispose of any unwanted bait in the trash. Clean, Drain, Dispose is required by law in Minnesota.

What can be done to reduce starry stonewort?

The potential to manage the plant is not well documented. It appears that treatment with herbicides can suppress starry stonewort. Some states use hand pulling, which may be a way to reduce biomass in small areas. Mechanical removal can also be effective. In the case of a newly discovered population of starry stonewort that has a limited distribution in the lake, mechanical harvesting is not recommended because it might create fragments that would speed the spread of the invasive plant within the lake.



East and West Lake Sylvia (Wright County Mn) Property Owners: The Greater Lake Sylvia Association (GLSA) will treat the above three listed invasive water species in 2018.  

The Minnesota Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) has granted to GLSA a waiver of the requirement that the GLSA obtain signatures of approval from owners of lakeshore property.

Instead, the GLSA is notifying property owners of the treatment through alternative forms.

This notice is one form that the GLSA is using to notify property owners. Other forms include notification in the GLSA Newsletter and on the GLSA website

With regard to the treatment of Starry Stonewort, Curly Pondweed and Eurasian Milfoil for 2018:

• The DNR is evaluating a permit to treat areas on Lake Sylvia

• The proposed dates of treatment will be between approximately May 10 thru June 10, 2018 for the target Curly Pondweed. The method of control will be DNR approved Aquathol K, granular herbicide.

The proposed dates of treatment will be approximately June 10 thru July 15, 2018 for the target Eurasian Milfoil.  The method of treatment will be DNR approved Alligare 2.4-D Amine.

• The approximate dates for treatment for Starry Stonewort will be from June 1, 2018 with repeated treatments if required for proper control on July 1, August 1, and September 1, 2018.  The DNR approved method of treatment is Cutrine Plus Algaecide liquid.

Landowners may request that control not occur adjacent to the landowner's property.  If you desire that the treatments not  occur adjacent to your property, immediately notify Blaine Barkley, GLSA Chairperson, Invasive Species, at the following address: 15613 65th St. NW Annandale, MN, 55302 or 320-274-5804.

(published in the Annandale Advocate)

Check out this video about Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels are invading Minnesota's waterways and are currently found in at least 20 counties. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) calls these "prohibited invasive species" a threat to our environment and our economy. Minnesota 2020 went out with the DNR to learn more about these invasive invertebrates as they collected samples from Prior Lake in Scott County.

Juvenile zebra mussel, probably 4-5 weeks old and about 2-3 mm in size.  

This is likely the smallest size that you will be able to see a zebra mussel.

Photos courtesy of Eric FieldsethAIS Consulting Services

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.

Zebra mussels are small, fingernail-sized animals that attach to solid surfaces in water. Adults are 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches long. They have D-shaped shells with alternating yellow and brownish colored stripes. One female zebra mussels can produce 100,000- 500,000 eggs per year! It is the only freshwater mussel that can attach to objects. They are native to Eastern Europe and Western Russia and were brought over to the Great Lakes in ballast water of freighters.
Zebra mussels can cause problems for lake shore residents and re-creationists. Homeowners that take lake water to water lawns can have their intakes clogged. Zebra mussels will attach to boats/motors, nets, docks, swim platforms, boat lifts, and can be moved on any of these objects. While mussel larvae can be present in bilge water and live wells, research shows that Zebra mussels are most likely to be transported by clinging to weeds.
Zebra Mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes in 1988 and in Duluth/Superior Harbor in 1989. They have spread throughout the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River from Brained downstream, and are now in other rivers and inland lakes.
Zebra mussels are a prohibited invasive species which means import, possession, transport, and introduction into the wild is prohibited.

Our Activities to Fight AIS

1. Ramp Inspection Program
The GLSA is paying for monitors at the public landing for the 2016 season. The monitors are trained by the DNR to inspect boats for AIS, and compliance to rules prohibiting the transport of AIS. The monitors also record all boats entering the lake, what body of water they previously used, when the last use was and what decontamination procedures they have used.
What YOU can do
  1. Inspect all watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment; remove any visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species before leaving any water access.
  2. Drain water from boat, live-well, bilge, impeller, bait containers and other equipment holding water before leaving any water access. If you want to keep your live bait after draining bait containers, you must replace water in bait containers with tap or spring water.
  3. Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. It is illegal to release live bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody into another.
  4. If you have been in any other lake take your boat to the FREE Aquatic Invasive Species Decontamination Washing Station. A collaboration between Wright County Soil & Water and Bishop AIS Services

Where:  Anchor Dock and Lift Storage Facility - 240 Poplar Avenue  Annandale (behind Classic Hall)
When:  10 AM to 7 PM, 7 days a week
  Chip Purcell 952-212-9863 or Jefferson Bishop 320-274-6500

GLSA is counting on you, your guests, or renters of your property, to be good stewards of the lake and utilize this free service before bringing any type of watercraft or water associated equipment (swim rafts, docks, lifts, etc.) in to Lake Sylvia.

2. Eurasian Water Milfoil Treatment and Monitoring - Contact Kent Davidson (320) 274-6448

The GLSA enlisted the expertise of Steve McComas of Blue Water Science to advise GLSA on effective approaches to assess and combat EWM, Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP) and other potential invasive species. Steve prepared a comprehensive plan for addressing EWM, CLP and other potential invasive species in Lake Sylvia. 
Our last themical treatment of EWM was performed on July 21, 2015.
In 2015 we did a complete survey of both East and West Lake Sylvia. This survey will be used as a baseline for planning and evaluating future EWM treatments.

Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM)

In 2008 GLSA was notified by the DNR that Eurasian Watermilfoil has been discovered in various sites on West Lake Sylvia.
It is the goal of GLSA to prevent the spread and reduce infestations of EWM. It is the policy of GLSA to pay for chemical treatment.
Eurasian milfoil has slender stems encircled by feathery leaves in groups. It can be difficult to identify for the casual observer because you are typically looking down at the plant in the water, and if you break off a stem to get a better look it appears quite different from it's appearance in the water. The right-most plant in the photograph at the right shows what it looks like when removed from the water.
Northern milfoil, which is a native, non-invasive plant, closely resembles Eurasian milfoil, and can also be found in Lake Sylvia. It can be distinguished by the number of leaf divisions; Eurasian milfoil has 9-21 pairs of leaflets per leaf, while Northern milfoil typically has 7-11 pairs of leaflets. Another technique for telling the two apart is that the feathery leaves of Eurasian milfoil collapse when removed from the water, while Northern Milfoil leaves remain firm. The photograph on the right illustrates this difference.
CurlyLeaf Pondweed Treatment and Monitoring - Contact Kent Davidson (320) 274-6448
We treat CLP with herbicide in areas where it tends to concentrate.
In 2016 we did a complete survey of both East and West Lake Sylvia. This survey will be used as a baseline for planning and evaluating future EWM treatments. An interactive map showing the CLP survey is also available. This Google Map allows you to zoom in on any of the areas for more detail and provides the GPS coordinates of all CLP that was detected.

CurlyLeaf Pondweed

Curleyleaf Pondweed (CLP) is an invasive exotic annual plant which came from Europe. Unlike our native plants, there are no natural controls. CLP tends to crowd out native plants and will mat on the surface restricting recreation.
CLP reproduces from bulbs called turions. These turions become next year’s crop. Our strategy is to cut the plant before it sheds these turions. The best time is the middle of June when the plant is mature. Cutting will not kill the plant, it will start growing again but if the cutting is done when it’s mature, it will not have time to grow new turions before it dies about the first week of July.
A hand-held “weed chopper” costs about $6-7 and is good for shallow water. For deeper water, use a rake. For very deep water consider tying the rake to a rope. A double-tine garden rake is the ultimate as it always lands on the right side. Be sure the cut plants do not float away (landing nets work) and dispose of them on land.
When the plants get too dense, the only option is chemical. The product used is Aquathol. If applied in early spring, Aquathol will not harm the native plants since curly-leaf is the first plant to grow in the spring. It dissipates quickly leaving no residue and does not bio-accumulate in fish or hydro-soil. It is approved by the Federal EPA and the DNR. After application, there are no restrictions on swimming and a 7 day advisory for watering lawns and plants.
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