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Kandiyohi has escaped the worst, so far

SPICER -- Kandiyohi County has been fortunate in not having the widespread infestations of aquatic invasive species in its lakes as has been experienced in some areas of the state, according to Bruce Gilbertson, fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Spicer.

Nonetheless, invasive species are a problem here and have been so for more than a century. The first carp were introduced to the lakes of the county sometime in the late 1800's, and have been a problem ever since.

More recent arrivals are problems of their own, too.

There are significant infestations of curly-leaf pondweed in Nest, Diamond and East Solomon Lakes. The lake association on Nest operates a mechanical harvester that trims the plant to keep areas open for boating and docks, but it's a challenge akin to mowing an 18-hole golf course with a single, hand push mower.

Eurasian watermilfoil infests Green Lake, Norway and Florida. There are infested areas in Green Lake where the invader has eliminated native plants. The number of infested acres in Green Lake is not great, but the infestations are widely scattered, said Gilbertson. The plant often dominates in break areas, where six to 15 feet of water depth allows sufficient sunlight for growth and wave action is minimized.

There are applications for grant funds from the DNR to battle the infestations. Gilbertson said chemical controls used in combination with other tactics could be effective in knocking back the invaders.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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