National Wildlife Refuge System
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
La Crosse District
N5727 County Road Z
Onalaska, WI 54650
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Hallie Rasmussen
Be on the Lookout for Water Hyacinth, an Aquatic Invasive Plant Species Found on the Upper Mississippi River in Pool 8
Recently, a large amount of water hyacinth was found in Pool 8 near the southern end of French Island (River Mile 699). Water hyacinth is a highly invasive aquatic plant species and can spread very quickly. Agency and non-profit efforts are taking place working to remove these plants, some of which were found almost three miles downstream near River Mile 696.
This was the fourth instance of these plants being found in the Upper Mississippi River. In 2015 there was a large concentration of water hyacinth in Lake Onalaska which is located in Pool 7. In 2011, the plants were discovered in a dozen locations in Pool 5 near Buffalo City, Wisc. and in 2012, a large infestation of nearly 10,000 plants was discovered in a secluded backwater bay.
We are asking anyone using the river (especially around the area the plant was most concentrated) to please keep an eye out for these invaders! If you are interested in volunteering and/or find any of these invasive aquatic plants on the Mississippi River https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives/fact/waterhyacinth.html, please report them immediately by calling Scott Caven (608)-781-6333 Aquatic Invasive Species Manager with the River Alliance of Wisconsin or Alex Selle (715)-831-3278 with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Only you can help stop invaders from entering the Upper Mississippi River! This is a reminder for everyone who uses these valuable natural resources to be diligent in their efforts to not transport invasive and/or exotic species; remove vegetation from boat trailers, empty bait buckets on land, pull your drain plugs, and NEVER release anything from your home into the wild.