ELYSIAN, Minn. (KEYC) - The Lake Francis Association is urging Elysian residents to be on the lookout for an invasive species called Eurasian watermilfoil.
The species is most prominent in Wagner Bay, a small body of water attached to Lake Francis that is home to several Elysian residents, including Tim and Carrie Bengtson.
“It’s unsightly, and it affects swimming. You know, especially with kids, they don’t like to swim in weeds,” said Tim Bengtson.
Last Thursday, the Bengtsons received an email from the Lake Francis Association warning them about the impacts of this invasive species.
“It gets in boat propellers. It’s just really kind of a nasty thing to have to deal with. It’ll depreciate the value of the homes on the lakes," Bengtson said.
The Lake Francis Association is now looking for scouts, who will be trained in how to identify the species before going out for two to three hours per session to help monitor the lake.
Here’s how to identify Eurasian watermilfoil, which is different from Northern watermilfoil, a native species.
Northern watermilfoil typically has five to ten leaflets on one side of the leaf.
Eurasian watermilfoil has at least 12.
“But Eurasian watermilfoil is more aggressive and tends to take over the area more so than Northern watermilfoil will," said Dennis Byron, a Lake Francis Association board member.
The Bengtsons said the lake is a popular spot for recreation and they’d like it to stay that way.
“You know, fishing, it’s a great fishing lake, and if Eurasian watermilfoil takes over all the native species, that will affect fishing," Bengtson said.
Those interested in becoming a scout can contact the Lake Francis Association.