It is small, flexible, water resistant and equipped with useful information. What is it?

A Michigan Boater’s Guide to Selected Aquatic Invasive Plants is specially designed to use and store on board.

MSU Extension publication designed to help boaters be watchful for certain aquatic invasive plants while out on the water.

MSU Extension publication designed to help boaters be watchful for certain aquatic invasive plants while out on the water.

Do not let those pesky invasive aquatic plants sneak up on your lake this summer! Arm yourself (and your boat) with A Michigan Boater’s Guide to Selected Invasive Aquatic Plants from Michigan State University Extension. This handy little guide is printed on water-resistant paper and is flexible enough to roll up and fit in a cubby hole. It is designed to help boaters be watchful for certain aquatic invasive plants while out on the water. Each plant page is equipped with short descriptions, maps, color photos and a QR code you can scan with your smart phone – instantly leading you to more detailed information housed on the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network website!

Included in this guide are some of the “oldies but baddies” like Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) – both of which appear on Michigan’s list of restricted plants. But most are relatively new to Michigan and appear on Michigan’s prohibited plant list. These include European Frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) and Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa). The latter is an aggressive macro-algae that forms dense mats that can fill the water column and interfere with recreation and fish spawning.

Other plants included in the Boater’s Guide, like Hydrilla and Water Lettuce (Pistia), have not yet been found in Michigan but have been confirmed in neighboring states. These plants could easily be brought into our state on boat props and trailers.

Many of the invasives included in the Boater’s Guide are popular aquarium or water gardening plants that, unfortunately, have been released into natural waterways.

A Michigan Boater’s Guide to Selected Invasive Aquatic Plants is available through the Michigan State University Extension Bookstore. Cost is $10 per guide, and bulk rates are available.

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