Purple Loosestrife Project
Thanks to those of you who reported infestations of Purple Loosestrife along Chain shores. The identified areas were on Wild Rice Lake, Stepping Stones Lakes, an area near Rest Lake, and on the river leading into lsland Lake. Work is now underway to treat those areas with beetles known to kill this invasive plant.
Pat Egan of the MWLA Water Ecology & Safety Committee is coordinating these efforts. Plants are raised in 80 pots. Each pot gets 10 beetles including one male. Net sleeve tents cover the pots. Pat and others will be monitoring the pots until they see a light-colored beetle in each one. Pots are then moved by boat to loosestrife area. Netting is removed, and beetles are released to hatch onto the plants.
Purple Loosestrife may be beautiful, but it’s an aggressive plant which takes over waterfront areas, crowding out more beneficial plants. A single stalk of Loosestrife can produce from 100,000 to 300,000 seeds per year. Seed survival is up to 60-70%.