WBLCD: Preserving White Bear Lake for future generations

Non-native phragmites have invaded White Bear Lake!

Photo source: Ontario Phragmites Working Group https://opwg.ca/

Invasive  non-native phragmites were recently discovered growing on the edges of White Bear Lake.  Non-native Phragmites, also known as common reed, is an extremely tall wetland grass. During the growing season it can reach over 15 feet tall, and has dark green leaves with a large purple-brown flower head.

The phragmites were discovered in late August 2018 and confirmed in early September.  They can be effectively treated with herbicides only through the end of September, not allowing enough time to organize a coordinated treatment effort in 2018.  The WBLCD will work with Ramsey County, the Minnesota DNR, the Rice Creek Watershed District, and local aquatic vegetation treatment experts to create an effective treatment program for 2019.

Management of invasive aquatic plants involving either mechanical removal of plants or application of herbicides to public waters below the ordinary high water mark requires a permit from the DNR.  If non-native phragmites are growing outside public waters on private land, they may be controlled by property owners (see U of M information on controlling phragmites, below).

Minnesota DNR information on Invasive Phragmites:


University of Minnesota  information on Invasive Phragmites:


This web page includes detailed information on how to identify and control invasive phragmite.