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Water Management Associations
Algaecide Treatments Not Effective on Starry Stonewort
New research findings from MAISRC show that algaecide treatments that targeted starry stonewort reduced its biomass, but failed to kill — and may have even increased the abundance of — bulbils, the alga’s primary means of reproduction.

Treatments for starry stonewort were piloted by the Koronis Lake Association last summer on Lake Koronis, the first lake in Minnesota where starry stonewort was found. Different areas of the lake were subjected to mechanical harvesting only, algaecide only, or harvesting plus algaecide. Additionally, untreated reference areas were monitored to provide a baseline for comparison.

By sampling in the lake before and after these treatments and conducting further experiments in the lab, researchers found that bulbils treated with the granular algaecide were just as viable (and therefore able to sprout and reinvade) as bulbils from untreated areas. Not only that, areas only treated with algaecide actually showed a large spike in bulbil density, which the reference and mechanically harvested areas that were not treated with algaecide did not have.

The overall biomass of the plant – which can form dense mats on the surface of the water that are hard to swim and boat through – did decrease following these treatments. However, since bulbils remained viable and abundant, the relief may only be temporary.

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