Mississippi Lake Invasive Plants Monitoring Survey

On July 10th, 2016, members of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Mississippi Lakes Association participated in an invasive species monitoring survey on Mississippi Lake. In the morning, participants were given a short presentation at the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority office on invasive species possibly present in the lake, briefed on sampling protocol and given field kits. Participants then split up into groups and went to five different locations on Mississippi Lake (Kinch Bay, Kings Bay, McGibbons Bay, McEwen Bay and Innisville Rapids) to search for invasive species.

Four different invasive plants were found, including curly-leaf pondweed, European frogbit, purple loosestrife and phragmites. This should not be considered, by any means, to be an exhaustive list of invasive plants in Mississippi Lake. The purpose of the exercise was to increase awareness through community involvement and to hopefully inspire similar initiatives in the future.
Invasive Plants Found

Curly-Leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
Locations: McEwen Bay & Innisville Rapids
Abundance: Scattered
European Frogbit (Hydrocharis)
Locations: McGibbons Bay, McEwen Bay, Kings Bay, Kinch Bay 
Abundace: Scattered; Dense in Kinch Bay
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) 
Location: McGibbons Bay
Abundance: Single Plant
  Invasive Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
Location: Innisville Rapids
Abundance: Single Plant

Volunteers returned with samples of native plants as well, including coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum), sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata), common waterweed (Elodia canadensis), common duckweed (Lemnoideae), star duckweed (Lemna trisulca), flat-stemmed pondweed (Potamogeton zosteriformus), water marigold (Megalodonta beckii), spotted joe-pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum) and pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata). In many instances, northern watermilfoil and coontail were mistaken for European watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), and common waterweed was mistaken for hydrilla.
Special thanks go out to Jim Tye of the Mississippi Lake Association for organizing the event and bringing all parties together, Cliff Bennett and David Garcia of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists for promoting the initiative within their organization, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters for providing invasive species summer student funding, and all Mississippi Lake landowners who allowed volunteers to launch canoes from their properties.

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