Invasive species found after dam burst in mid-Michigan – CBS Detroit

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MIDLAND, Michigan (CNN) – When the Tittabawassee River crossed after last year’s dam failures, it brought with it a flood of invasive species.

A plant with the berries is called buckthorn, normally at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, does not belong near the Tittabawassee River.

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Matthew Lindauer examines a plant whose berries are called buckthorn, an invasive species that does not belong to where he found it. | Credit: WNEM

“We try to get rid of it at any size we find it,” said Matthew Lindauer, coordinator of the Central Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.

Lindauer’s organization has just completed the 42 mile survey of the river from near Edenville to Saginaw.

“It was because of the dam failures over a year ago, and we wanted to see if any new invasive species, especially aquatic, had entered the Tittabawassee River,” Lindauer said.

They did it. In fact, the numbers have exploded. A handful of species have been spotted over 700 times.

As big as it sounds, Lindauer said it wasn’t shocking because it was the river’s first comprehensive invasive species analysis.

For the first time, they found zebra mussels in Tittabawassee. The autumn olive tree, the pondweed and purple loosestrife have also been spotted. There is no threat to humans, just animals that depend on water.

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“When all of that is, all this real estate is taken care of by these plants, they have nowhere to land and nowhere to nest, so when you see those big spikes of purple loosestrife you see dives in the population of waterfowl, ”Lindauer said. .

Some invasive species live underwater. Given the darkness of the river, they can be difficult to spot and even more difficult to eliminate.

They plan to pull up some plants and spray herbicides where possible.

“They’re so prevalent all over the state that often, you know, how much money and time do you want to spend getting rid of something that’s going to be everywhere else and eventually going back? Lindauer said.

The takeaway for visitors? Be aware of the potential effect you might have on your surroundings.

“You take your boat out of the Tittabawassee River, which now contains x, y, and z species. Go to another stream, empty those same reservoirs, now all of a sudden you’ve introduced a new species and the invasive species continues to spread, ”Lindauer said.

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