Nuisance plant found at Lake MitchellBiologists from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks recently confirmed the presence of curly pondweed, a nuisance plant, at Lake Mitchell.
By: Chris Huber, The Daily Republic
Biologists from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks recently confirmed the presence of curly pondweed, a nuisance plant, at Lake Mitchell.
The exotic plant has detrimental effects to boating and other plant life because it forms a thick mat on the surface of the water, which can get stuck in propellers and shade submerged plants.
GF&P conservation officer Andy Petersen said growth of the plant has been verified near the shore by the west boat ramp.
“It was probably brought in by another boat having the vegetation on the boat or its trailer,” Petersen said.
The exotic plant was identified early and removed by GF&P officials.
Officials surveyed the entire lake Monday but only found the weed growing in small clusters on the west end.
Peterson said the lake will be monitored closely throughout the summer to make sure the plant is not resurfacing.
“Luckily, it was a small enough area this time where we could just manually remove it, but if it comes back again, we may have to find another solution,” he said.
Curly pondweed was thought to have been growing only near the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area on the Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota before it was confirmed at Lake Mitchell.
Petersen reminded boaters to clear all vegetation off and wash their boats and trailers after taking them out of the water to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species.