MUCC’s On the Ground volunteers took to the open waters of Lake Huron last week on Thursday. This event was held at Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area with ~1,500 acres of wetland located in the nook of Saginaw Bay; this area presents incredible opportunities for hunting waterfowl and fishing as well. However, this area has been exposed to an invasive aquatic plant called European frog-bit. Volunteers included MUCC’s Conservation Intern, Erin Oakley, the Policy Intern and Glassen Scholar, Mary Herman and her crew of fellow Glassen Scholars, as well as the Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, Anna Mitterling.
Using kayaks provided by Ike’s Mobile Kayak based out of Midland, MI, volunteers set out through the tall and thick cat-tails and phragmites on a quest for European frog-bit. It’s is a small floating lily pad type plant with a white flowers that has three rounded petals and a yellow center. Also the plant’s pads are only up to 2 inches in diameter, this plants roots can grow 2-3ft long and become so dense that sunlight cannot get through nor can waterfowl or fish swim through these patches. The process to effectively remove this plant from an area takes a careful approach; any small fragments left behind can start a whole new cluster in a short period of time.
Volunteers covered just over five miles of shoreline and precisely marked the small patches of frog-bit that were found. We were pleased to find only a few spots that had spread from the Wildlife area marsh out to the Lake Huron shoreline. Now that the spots have been recorded and mapped, entered into the Michigan Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) database, they will be properly removed before it becomes a much larger problem. This event was possible thanks to the support from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network. Check our Calendar to stay informed about upcoming events and get involved to volunteer for wildlife!