Milfoil reproduces extremely rapidly and
can infest an entire lake within two years of introduction to the system.
Milfoil is able to reproduce very successfully and rapidly through the
formation of plant fragments. In the late summer and fall the plants
become brittle and naturally break apart. These fragments will float to other
areas, sink, and start new plants.
Eurasian Watermilfoil is a feathery submerged aquatic plant that can quickly form thick mats in shallow areas of lakes and rivers in North America. These mats can interfere with swimming and entangle propellers, which hinders boating, fishing, and waterfowl hunting. Heavy infestations may reduce property values. Matted milfoil can displace native aquatic plants, impacting fish and wildlife.
Since it was discovered in North America in the 1940s, Eurasian Watermilfoil has invaded nearly every US state and at least three Canadian provinces. Milfoil spreads when plant pieces break off and float on water currents. It can cross land to new waters by clinging to sailboats, personal watercraft, powerboats, motors, trailers, and fishing gear. Eradicating established infestations is nearly impossible. Your help detecting and reporting new infestations is vital for preventing their spread.
What can you do:
Learn to identify Eurasian Watermilfoil
Inspect and remove aquatic plants and animals from boat, motor, and trailer.
Dispose of unwanted live bait in the trash
Rinse boat and equipment with high pressure hot water (104° F) especially if moored for more than a day, OR
Dry everything for at least 5 days
Report new sightings- note exact location; wrap a plant fragment in a wet paper towel, place in a sealed plastic bag; and call the Michigan Sea Grant Program in East Lansing, (517) 353-9748 or in Marquette, (906) 228-4830; the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Alpena, (989) 356-5102; the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Lansing, (517) 335-4056; or a local DNR fishery office.
REMINDER: Know the rules!!
Specimens are needed to confirm sightings, but some jurisdictions prohibit or discourage possession and transport of Eurasian Watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic plants and animals. Contact your local natural resource management agency for instructions. Unauthorized introduction of plants or fish into the wild in illegal. Protect you property and our waters.