Beltrami Co. Residents Learn How to Identify AIS at ‘Starry Trek’ Training
Every year, the public comes out to training locations across Minnesota for Starry Trek, where they learn how to recognize aquatic invasive species like starry stonewort. The newly trained volunteers then venture out to nearby water accesses to look for any indicators of invasive species.
“It’s statewide training for people to be able to find out what starry stonewort looks like and be able to go out and look for it,” said Bruce Anspach, Beltrami County Aquatic Invasive Species Lakes Technician, at an event held last Saturday.
Starry stonewort was discovered for the first time in Minnesota in 2015 in Lake Koronis, and it has already spread to over 20 lakes in the state since then, including 12 in Beltrami County. Control of this species depends heavily on early detection.
Minnesota is the the only state to give out funds to the county in order to handle AIS in the community, which allows more people to go out and get training to remove them.
“We only have so much money, and we have to decide if we want to try to manage it all,” Anspach said.
Anspach hopes that with the training, they can bring more people out in the following years to help bring invasive species under control.
Although the training is over for this year, you can still find more information about it and on starry stonewort at the Starry Trek website.