In fight against invasive species, biologist pitches Minnesota 'state lake' program

In fight against invasive species, biologist pitches Minnesota 'state lake' program

Minnesota has saved its most prized natural landmarks — towering old growth pines, dramatic waterfalls, pockets of native prairie — by protecting them within the state parks system. Yet the water bodies that define the Land of 10,000 Lakes face the most immediate threats from warmer temperatures and invasive species. Aquatic biologist Peter Sorensen is floating an idea to protect Minnesota’s true gems: the state’s lakes. He’d start with Lake Itasca, the still-pristine source of the Mississippi River. “The window is closing,” said Sorensen, a leader in the state’s fight against invasive Asian carp at the University of Minnesota. “There are fewer and fewer places to save, and we still don’t have any way of getting invasive species out once they’re in. We have to put a few lakes aside while we can.” It’s still unclear exactly what protections might come with a “state lake” designation. Sorensen, who has been …
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