In a half day, Saturday August 17, hundreds of volunteers in Minnesota and Wisconsin will gather at local lakes (Farm Island Lake in Aitkin County), and then spread out to other lakes looking for several different aquatic invasive species (AIS), with a focus on starry stonewort, a newer, fast-spreading, and perhaps the most destructive AIS. Volunteers will also look for other types of AIS.
Participants will meet at a local training site (Farm Island Lake’s north public access) where they will receive a brief training on how to identify starry stonewort and other target AIS and how to follow the search protocols. Groups are then sent out to local lakes to follow the protocols and bring back any suspicious organisms. Starry Trek is a free event and no experience or special equipment is required. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. and be done by 12:30 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event is a way to get outdoors, learn more about AIS and help protect area lakes. It’s a learning activity and is part of a scientifically designed project. It’s also effective at discovering new infestations.
Information is also available by calling the Aitkin County SWCD at 218-927-6565.
Sign up by August 9 to receive a tote bag, boot brush, and more AIS identification /sampling tools.