Flowering Rush Control to Begin on Upper Mississippi River

Boaters are asked to avoid specific backwater areas of Upper Mississippi River Pools 4, 5, 7 and 8 during upcoming invasive species control efforts. Beginning the week of June 27, 2022, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) will be contracting to have the aquatic herbicide Diquat applied to approximately 1,100 acres of Refuge backwaters infested with flowering rush. Flowering rush is an aquatic invasive species first observed in these UMR Pools in 2020.

Signs with dates to avoid the area will be posted where control efforts are taking place including: Pool 4, Big Lake/Catfish Slough near Nelson, WI; Pool 5, Weaver Bottoms, near Weaver, MN; Pool 7, Proudfoot Chute and Dresbach Island/Channel, near Dresbach, MN; and Pool 8, Shady Maple, near Stoddard, WI.

PLM Lakes and Land Management Corp of Shakopee, MN is a licensed, certified aquatic herbicide applicator who will be working under Minnesota and Wisconsin State permits and Federal oversight to treat the specified areas. The herbicide applications are intended to reduce, minimize, or eliminate flowering rush at the treatment locations. Funding for the project is being provided through a $188,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Invasive Species Early Control Grant and a $25,000 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Invasive Species Control Grant for New Infestations.

Questions regarding the project can be addressed to Mary Stefanski, Winona District Manager, 507-494-6229 or mary_stefanski@fws.gov or to Tim Miller, La Crosse District Manager, 608-779-2385 or tim_a_miller@fws.gov.

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