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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How to get off the impaired waters list

Fundamentals of lake processes

A workshop on how to improve the health of lakes and remove them from the impaired waters list

February 22, 2018
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St W, Farmington, MN

Pre-workshop webinar: February 16, 10-11 a.m.; Post-workshop: March 5, 10-11 a.m.

Register now for this one-day workshop on improving the water quality of impaired lakes using nutrient criteria.

Cost: $95 / $35 students -- includes lunch and materials
For natural resource managers, technicians, lake managers, homeowner associations and early career professionals.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Join us in the search for starry stonewort

Team up with other volunteers across the state to search for starry stonewort and other invasive species by participating in Starry Trek on August 5th

Get outdoors and make a difference in the health of your area lakes this summer. Join us on Saturday, August 5, 2017, for Starry Trek, a multi-state search for starry stonewort and other invaders.

Image: Starry stonewort (credit: Dave Hansen)
Starry stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to nine Minnesota lakes. Now, you can help search other lakes across the state to help understand its distribution in Minnesota.

No experience or equipment is necessary to participate in Starry Trek. You’ll receive expert training on monitoring protocols and starry stonewort identification on-site when you arrive.  You won’t have to travel far, either: Starry Trek will be held at numerous sites across the state. Check out the registration page to see the list of rendezvous sites and one near you.

Volunteers will meet at their chosen rendezvous site, where they will be trained and sent to monitoring locations nearby to search. At the end of the day, you’ll return to your rendezvous site to report your findings.

Wisconsinites can join too! We’re coordinating with Snapshot Day, a similar event held on the same day. Click here to learn more about participating in Wisconsin.

It’s free to participate, and registration is requested by July 28.

Participating in Starry Trek is an easy, rewarding way to help protect your local lakes and inform ongoing research at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC).  If you’d like to learn more about starry stonewort, its impacts and the research happening at MAISRC, you can visit this page.

Questions can be directed to Megan Weber ( or Dan Larkin (

Friday, May 19, 2017

South Center Lake research station is deployed

Chris Ellis, St Anthony Falls Lab, works to bring the research station online after the anchors have been set in South Center Lake, MN
By Ann Wilkinson, University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

The harmful algal bloom (HAB) team from the University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls lab deployed our long-term HAB monitoring research station on South Center Lake, MN on Thursday, May 11, 2017, with help from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This monitoring effort, led by Miki Hondzo, is funded by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

The research station will be continuously monitoring lake and weather conditions from May through October 2017, from its anchored location on South Center Lake. The purpose of the research station is to understand environmental triggers for HAB in Minnesota lakes. To do that, we will be monitoring vertical and temporal variability of blue-green algae concentrations, as well as water chemistry and meteorological conditions at high frequency. The research station is uniquely equipped to collect full depth profiles of the lake (14m) every two hours and can run autonomously. The data collected from the research station can be accessed remotely so we can respond to bloom events in addition to long-term monitoring.

We will also be on the lake on a weekly basis to collect water samples for phytoplankton composition, nutrients and toxin quantification. This research will help us predict, where, when and why HAB form and produce toxins to help protect wildlife, recreation and drinking water in and around Minnesota lakes. A similar study using our research station was conducted on Madison Lake last summer.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Aqua Chautauqua coming soon to a watershed near you!

The Otter Tail River Watershed Aqua Chautauqua will be held in Fergus Falls on Saturday, August 12.

We are drawn to water: running water in our creeks and rivers, and still water in our lakes and wetlands. We are mesmerized by it and, in Minnesota, our water says a lot about who we are: recreationally, culturally, economically. We want to protect it; keep it clean and safe and available for future generations. Water is a shared community resource. The better we understand it, the better we can advocate for its wise use and protection.

Aqua Chautauqua is a family-oriented event that brings people together to learn and share about the water resources in our communities. Expert speakers and facilitators will present theater, art, hands-on demonstrations, and recreational activities all centered on our lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, and what they mean to us.

Chautauqua (sha-taw-kwa) was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."

Join us on Saturday, August 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Veterans Memorial Park, 220 S Sherman St, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.

Check the Facebook event page for up-to-date information on this event.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Registration for Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors program now open

Seven statewide training  sessions to be offered in 2017

Registration is now open for AIS Detectors, a new volunteer network and science-based training program launched by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in partnership with University of Minnesota Extension.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Understanding and predicting harmful algal blooms in Minnesota lakes

Thank you for visiting the Blue-green algae in Minnesota lakes webpage and for reading our blog. We are happy that you are here! The Blue-green Algae webpage is a hub for algae research and outreach.

Recent funding by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the University of Minnesota has propelled a new round of research focused on understanding and predicting blue-green algae. By sharing information, insight, and lessons learned, we can assist Minnesota state agencies, scientists and all citizens to create a better picture of potential Harmful Algal Blooms in Minnesota.

Our goals for this webpage and blog are to:
  • Explore and learn about algae and freshwater HABs
  • Convey specific and helpful information among researchers, local and state agencies, and the public, so all can learn something new about algae and increase understanding of algae -- particularly freshwater HABs
  • Promote and inform the public of the current algae research by providing a space for our researchers to share about what they do, who they are, who do they work for, and how we all may benefit from their work
  • Make research findings more accessible and provide opportunities for researchers and citizens to get involved in algae research and outreach
  • Provide support and nurturing for our ongoing algae focused programs

What is coming next in our Blog?

Research Updates by HAB researchers. We will follow up with state and regional agencies and stakeholders and learn about their work with HAB and we'll share a lot of photos.

If you have any questions, comments, or would like to contribute to this blog, leave a comment on this post or contact Shahram Missaghi, University of Minnesota Extension, at 952-221-1333 or

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