Invasive species found in Lake Onalaska

An area lake is being invaded by two unwanted plants that are native to South America.

Both Water Hyacinth and Water lettuce have been found on the shore of Lake Onalaska. The two species were recently found in the pond at Erickson Park in La Crosse. Under state law, they are illegal to have or release into bodies of water.

The two species reproduce very quickly and kill other species they share the water with.

Wildlife officials say stopping the spread of the species starts at area boat landings.

“We want you to be aware to clean your boats off when you get them out. They’re are reminders at all the boat landings, be sure you’re cleaning your boats off because we don’t want people transporting it to another pool or somewhere else,” said Tim Miller, from the Upper Mississippi U.S. Wildlife & Fish Refuge.

If you find either of the plants while out on the water, contact the wildlife refuge at (608) 779-2399.