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Aquatic Invasive Species
> Eurasian Water Milfoil Background Information
Eurasian Water Milfoil Background Information
What is Eurasian Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.)? EWM is an "evergreen" perennial aquatic plant that grows submersed in water as deep as light will penetrate. In our clear waters, it grows faster and at greater depths. The only part of the plant that grows out of the water is the short flower stalk late in the summer. The submersed shoots form a dense offensive canopy at the water's surface. In the winter, green stems may be found under the ice, although with little metabolic activity. EWM was first reported in the United States in the 1940's in Chesapeake Bay and spread rapidly. The current EWM distribution includes 45 of the 50 states and three Canadian providences. EWM is possibly the most widespread nonnative aquatic plant in North America.
What does EWM look like? EWM has the following recognizable characteristics:
How does EWM spread? EWM is prolific but does not spread well by seeds. It primarily spreads by fragments commonly transported by boats and trailers that form roots and develop new plants. These plants grow rapidly, out performing other aquatic plants. These new plants send out shoots and runners that creep along beds of lakes and rivers to form new colonies. These colonies soon out compete other aquatic plants. A small piece can multiply into hundreds of plants in one year!
What are the problems with EWM? Here are some of the detrimental effects of EWM:
What can be done? Every Barnes resident can help reduce the spread of EWM!
Wisconsin laws prohibit launching a boat or placing a trailer or boat equipment in navigable waters if it has aquatic plants or zebra mussels attached.
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