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University of Minnesota Extension

Aquatic invasive species detector program

Northern water milfoil - photo from MN DNR.

Volunteer to protect Minnesota lakes from aquatic invasive species

There are many ways to help protect Minnesota waters against aquatic invasive species. Extension and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center organize statewide volunteer programs that add capacity to Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species surveillance, prevention, education, outreach, research and management.

The AIS Detectors program trains individuals to make credible aquatic invasive species reports to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Starry Trek is a statewide search for starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species that happens every August. Participants arrive at a local training site near them to receive their training, equipment and lake monitoring route and then spend the morning searching local lakes.

Both the AIS Detectors volunteer program and Starry Trek are open to lake lovers across the state from any background and of any level of experience from novice to professional.

AIS Detectors help protect Minnesota Lakes


Become an AIS Detector or participate in Starry Trek and help protect Minnesota waters against invasive species.

Get involved

Reviewed in 2021

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