There was an article in the Michigan Riparian Magazine, summer 2015 about Starry stonewort. The algae, Starry stonewort (scientific name: Nitellopsis obtusa), a member of the Characeae family, was first detected in Michigan lakes in 2006. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has classified Starry stonewort as a highly invasive aquatic species.
This robust plant grows to over 6 feet (2 meters) tall and is capable of rapidly producing a large, dense mass in water from 1 to 29 feet deep that completely engulfs everything in the area. This mass can significantly alter and/or destroy submerged native aquatic plant ecosystem.
Quoting from the article: "Severe degradation and/or loss of native submerged aquatic plant communities and areas critical to fish reproduction represent a significant threat to the immense ecological, recreational and economical value of Michigan's inland lakes." This is not good news for our lake!
The last sentence of the article is this: "Early detection and rapid response in managing the rapidly growing invasive plant is critical to sparing your inland lake or favorite fishing spot from the ecological ravages of this unprecedented biological invasion."
This plant has been spotted in our Lake of the Woods. Professional Lake Management (PLM) responded promptly and treated the area spotted. A resident called when they saw the massive growth. If you think you see this plant in our lake, please immediately call Bob Richter, the Board president. He is our official contact person with PLM. We want to keep the lake healthy!