Invasive plant called “frogbit” spreads across Michigan lakes

Michigan

Experts call it frogbit.

“It looks like little water lilly’s. It’s got leaves about the size of quarter, it floats on the surface of the water,” said Invasive Species Communications Coordinator for the MDNR, Joanne Foreman.

The invasive European plant is spreading quickly. It’s been found on several ponds and lakes across mid-Michigan. The plant is raising concerns from the DNR.

“It’s crowded out our native plants, but it can also be changing the habitat for water fowl who like those shallow waters that frogbit likes, and it could also be changing the habitat, and the water temperature for fish, and amphibians,” said Foreman.

Frogbit is usually found in places like Europe, Asia, and Africa before moving to the coastal areas of Michigan in 1996, but it has recently moved inland to lakes in the Waterloo Recreation area, and in Dansville. The DNR says, the movement is being caused by boaters.

“One of the things about this plant is if it gets attached to your boat, your trailer your hunting dog etc. even the seeds, and then you go to another place, you can drop that plant or drop those seeds into that new location, and boom there it goes we have a new infestation,” said Foreman.

Experts say, if you are boating to follow state laws.

“Remove any plants, and debris in your boats, trailers, and gear while you are at the landing before you head out on the road. It’s also important to drain your tanks.”

The DNR says, if it looks like an unusual plant to you the best thing to do is to take a picture, note the location and report it.

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