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Protect Your Lake!

Inspection Program for 2015

BSLA has been awarded a grant to continue inspections at the primary launch sites on Big Sandy Lake. If you are interested in being hired as an inspector, please contact Chad Harting at Employment Resource Center, Inc.   

Clean, Drain, Dry Video

Aquatic Invasive Species - Minnesota Waters At Risk (25 minutes) Video

DNR using dogs to detect zebra mussels
(2 minutes) Video

How to Prevent Transport of Invasive Species

Invasive species are species that are not native to Minnesota and cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.  Everyone is responsible for preventing the transport of Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil and other aquatic invasive species into our lakes.

Minnesota waters are threatened by aquatic invasive species. It is illegal to transport any aquatic plants, zebra mussels, New Zealand mud snails or other prohibited invasive species, or to launch a boat or trailer with these species attached.

Chinese and Banded Mystery Snails are mainly found in lakes and in slow moving rivers. They are called “mystery” snails because in spring, they give birth to young, fully developed snails that suddenly and mysteriously appear. After reproducing in their fourth year, they die and their shells wash up on shore.

Flowering Rush
During an aquatic plant workshop in the summer of 2008, two prohibited species were found on Big Sandy Lake: Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus) and Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). 
Below is the description ofFlowering Rush.

Appearance: Perennial aquatic herbaceous plant. It grows 1-4' high on an erect stem along shores in shallow water. In deeper water it grows submerged without producing flowers. Flowering rush is very difficult to identify when not in flower, since it resembles many native shoreland plants, such as the common bulrush.

Leaves: Leaves are sword-shaped, triangular in cross section. 
Flowers: Pink flowers are arranged in umbels (umbrella-shaped).
Roots: Reproduces by vegetative spread from its rootstock in form of bulb-lets with both seeds and bulb-lets dispersed by water current.

Ecological Threat: Flowering rush is actively expanding. It has spread from a limited area around the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to sporadically appear in the northern U.S. and southern Canada. It competes with native shoreland vegetation.

It is a Eurasian plant that was sold commercially for use in garden pools. It is now illegal to buy, sell or possess the plant.  Flowering rush is on the DNR Prohibited exotic species list in Minnesota. 
Locations of Purple Loosestrife found in 2008
During a previous boating season the BSLA, in cooperation with the MN DNR and Wildlife Forever, produced and posted two billboards on major highways leading to Big Sandy Lake. Billboards were located on Highway 65 north of Mora and on Highway 210 east of Tamarack. It is part of our effort to raise awareness of invasive species and to remind all boaters and lake users that we must all help to "Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers."
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