Invasive iris on district hit list

A non-native plant, yellowtail iris originated in Europe. It doesn’t belong in water, so steps are being taken to eradicate it on White Bear Lake. 

WHITE BEAR LAKE — A pretty flower on land, the yellowtail iris is invasive in shallow water. Its deep root system helps hold eroding shoreline, but the non-native iris chokes out bulrushes and other native plants. 

People strolling Lake Avenue noticed the plant in front of the Fillebrown House and contacted Mike Parenteau, White Bear Lake Conservation District board member. He sought advice from Steve McComas, an aquatic species expert who helps manage invasive milfoil on the lake. McComas advised treatment. 

After getting permission from property owners who have the iris on their waterfront, the conservation district board agreed June 16 to spend money left in the milfoil account to get rid of the plant. Lake Management, the same company that treats White Bear for Eurasian watermilfoil, will handle the initial chemical application. Future management of the iris will be up to property owners. 

— Debra Neutkens

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