Invasive plant starry stonewort may be spreading in lake

Invasive plant starry stonewort may be spreading in lake


WILLIAMS BAY — The invasive plant known as starry stonewort has been found in two new locations on Geneva Lake, signaling that the destructive plant could be spreading.

The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency has called an emergency meeting of its board Thursday to deal with the new threat.

Starry stonewort, which was previously thought to be isolated in one lagoon on the lake, is an invader that grows into thick bushes that can disrupt boating, fishing and other activities on a lake.

Onterra LLC De Pere, a lake management company, reported finding starry stonewort about two weeks ago during underwater plant surveys on Geneva Lake.

Ted Peters, director of the Geneva Lake Environmental Agency, said the two new locations are both on the south side of the lake. One is just outside of Trinke Lagoon in 10 feet of water, and the other is about a half mile east of the lagoon in 14 feet of water.

Trinke Lagoon, located in the town of Linn, is where the invasive plant first was discovered last fall.

The plant, which is actually a species of algae, is very difficult to control and almost impossible to eradicate. The plant extends far enough into sediment that poisons cannot kill the entire plant.

An emergency meeting of the environmental agency’s board of directors is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at George Williams College in Williams Bay to discuss the possible spread of starry stonewort.

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