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DNR working to get rid of invasive Starry Stonewort algae found in seven Wisconsin lakes

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Department of Natural Resources is asking boaters to thoroughly clean their boats to help stop the spread of an invasive species found in seven Wisconsin lakes, including one in Washington County. 

DNR officials isolated a portion of Green Lake in Washington County and put herbicides in the water to get rid of the algae called Starry Stonewort. 

The algae was discovered in the summer of 2014 in Little Muskego Lake. DNR officials put in the barricade and the herbicides in September and have been surveying the lake since to try and prevent it from spreading. They have been working with other states to see what they are doing to try and find ways to kill off the algae like freezing it, but so far they haven't used that method here. 

They say the biggest concern with the Starry Stonewort is the impact it could have on the ecosystem in the lakes that have been affected. 

"It does not kill any fish, but what it does is take over the habitat of where the fish do live. At the present time, we haven't, with it being a newer algae, we still don't really know exactly the effects that it will have on the fish. We just know that it can take over native plant areas," said Amy Kretlow, Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Specialist with the Wisconsin DNR. 

DNR officials say lakes like Green Lake are still safe to swim in despite the presence of Starry Stonewort because it is not harmful to humans. 

For more information, please click here. 

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