LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An invasive aquatic plant — first detected in southeastern Michigan in 1996 — has been found in four inland lakes in Washtenaw and Jackson counties.
The presence of European frogbit has been confirmed within the Waterloo Recreation Area, according to Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
It also has been found in the Dansville State Game Area in Ingham County.
European frogbit resembles a miniature water lily with leaves about the size of a quarter. State officials say it can form dense mats on the surface of slow-moving waters and can impede boat traffic and alter food and habitat for ducks and fish.
Since its initial detection in southeastern Michigan, the plant has spread along the coastal areas of lakes Erie and Huron up to the eastern Upper Peninsula.
It also has been found in two lakes near Grand Rapids, several small bodies of water in Oakland County and in the Lower Grand River in Ottawa County and Pentwater Lake in Oceana County.
The state says waterfowl, currents and stream flow can spread the plant and its seeds, but European frogbit plant parts and seeds also can become attached to boat motors, trailers, decoys and other recreational gear in an infested body of water and be transferred unintentionally to another location.
Read more invasive species news on Great Lakes Now:
Featured image: Dense mats of European frog-bit were found in an impoundment at the Dansville State Game Area. (Photo: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)