by Dr. Jennifer L. Jermalowicz-Jones, MLSA Board Director

Aquatic vegetation survey methods are critical for the early detection rapid response protocol in controlling invasive aquatic plant species. Such methods utilize the use of global positioning systems (GPS) that accurately record the specific locations of these invasive species. This allows for lake managers to re-visit individual sites and determine if the invasive species are spreading further in a lake or are responding to a particular treatment.

At the annual MLSA conference in May 2020, a presentation will be given that focuses on the different survey methods that are used in Michigan inland lakes. This includes the Aquatic Vegetation Assessment Site (AVAS) survey method and the Point-Intercept method. Both are commonly used along with additional collection methods such as rake tossing and grapple hooks. Collection methods are usually used in combination with survey methods to allow for close-up identification of individual aquatic plants. This assists the lake manager with precise determination of the species and growth habit of the plants. The majority of aquatic plants have both a common name and scientific name which can be confusing as some common names can be similar among species. Thus, it is important to use the scientific (Latin) name during vegetation surveys or a unique species numerical code. Many of our inland lakes in Michigan contain over 32 native aquatic plant species. 

***Plan to attend the MLSA conference presentation to learn more about these species, the associated survey methods, and how they help YOU to monitor the lake you love!

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