With summer in full swing, many residents will be hitting Waseca’s lakes for activities such as boating, swimming and fishing. However, residents need to be cognizant of invasive species in the waters especially those taking boats out onto the lakes this summer.

On Tuesday, June 28, the Southern Research and Outreach Center, in collaboration with the Waseca Lakes Association and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will be presenting a talk on the area’s aquatic invasive species.

SROC

The Southern Research and Outreach Center is hosting an aquatic invasive species talk on June 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and invites the public to attend. RSVP can be found on their website. (Ethan Becker/southernminn.com)

SROC

“The invasive species program was developed at the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Science, and will be presented throughout the state, with eight of the 10 research and outreach centers in Minnesota showing the presentation,” Deanne Nelson said.

Nelson is the program associate for the Southern Research and Outreach Center, which operates just outside of Waseca on the other side of the railroad tracks on Old Highway 14. The Southern Research and Outreach Center, or SROC, is the last remnant of the University of Minnesota Waseca campus that was in the city from 1971 to 1992. The facility continues to oversee programs and areas of study that the university did, such as horticulture, swine management and agronomy.

The program will begin at 10 a.m., with residents encouraged to RSVP by Tuesday, June 21. The College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Science will present three keynote speakers in a zoom conference, which can be viewed either from home or at any participating research and outreach center, including the SROC.

Talks will begin with Roger Becker from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Agronomy, who will talk about what makes a species invasive. Then Dan Larken with the Department of Fisheries and Conservation Biology will give a presentation talking about how to collect data on invasive species. Finally, Rebecca Montgomery from the Department of Forest Resources will give a presentation on how the data being collected will help determine how to address invasive species.

Following the talks, SROC invites all viewers out to the Maplewood boat landing on Clear Lake for a lunch at noon. At 1 p.m., Duane Rathmann from the Waseca Lakes Association will be giving a presentation in conjunction with Carli Wagner from the DNR on the different aquatic invasive species found specifically in Clear Lake.

Rathmann photo

Duane Rathmann tests water quality at the Maplewood boat landing at Clear Lake, where he will give a presentation on the different invasive species in the lake on June 28. (File photo/southernminn.com)

“The two main ones are curly-leaf pondweed, which is found in a lot of lakes across southern Minnesota, but the more recent and more troublesome one is the eurasian milfoil,” Rathmann said.

Rathmann’s talk will focus on the Waseca Lakes Association and what the association is doing to help control these invasive species, with Wagner giving a hands-on presentation teaching viewers how to identify these weeds.

“The Lakes Association has two main projects going on right now, the first is a weed harvesting program, which will actually still be going on during the talk,” Rathmann said. The second is a special chemical spray aimed at controlling the eurasisan milfoil population, which took place on June 14.

Any resident interested in the program on June 28 is asked to register. Registration is completely free and will guarantee you a box lunch at the Clear Lake presentation. The registration link can be found at the SROC website.

Ethan Becker is a reporter for the Waseca County News. Reach him at (507) 333-3133.

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