Phragmites Eradication Project

More information at Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC)

What is Invasive Phragmites? Invasive phragmites is an aggressive and tall (up to 15 feet) semi-aquatic perennial grass that is not native to Minnesota. It spreads fast via seed, fragmentation, stolons and rhizomes.

What’s the Problem? If left unchecked, invasive phragmites quickly pushes out native plants and takes over shorelines, wetlands and roadsides. For lake-shore owners, invasive phragmites blocks the view and makes water access difficult. Wildlife experiences problems associated with habitat loss.

So far, the Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association (CLLA) has identified 60 stands of invasive phragmites on or near Chisago Lake, North and South Lindstrom Lakes and Kroon Lake (data as of Aug 2021). We suspect there are more and we need your help locating them. North and South Center Lakes have more than 60 patches, some of them very large.

What If I Think I Have Invasive Phragmites on My Shoreline? Report possible invasive phragmites at: using this comment form.

A trained Aquatic Invasive Species volunteer will visit your shoreline and take a sample which will be tested by the University of Minnesota. If the testing verifies the ID, the stand on your shoreline will become part of the control plan and will be treated at no cost to you.

AIS Detector taking a sample of Non-Native Phragmites along the channel.

What If I Don’t Want My Shoreline Treated? Lake-shore property owners can opt out of the treatment plan. Opting out means shore land owners will not be able to use Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association funding or volunteer efforts to remove invasive phragmites from their shoreline. The waiving of treatment must be done in writing. Click this link for the form to send in:

Here’s the Plan to Stop Invasive Phragmites. The Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association is working with the other area lake associations, the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District, the Minnesota DNR and the MN Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) to formulate and execute a plan to control invasive phragmites.

Funding to help pay for part of the 2019 treatment program and mailings was secured from the Chisago Lakes Area Community Foundation and the Chisago Lake Township. A Public Meeting was held in 2019 (see details below) for you to learn more about this threat and our eradication plan.

Our Lake Association is contracting with an aquatic invasive species professional who will begin chemical treatment in September (the most effective treatment time). The chemicals to be used will be either the DNR approved herbicides glyphosate or imazapyr. We expect the eradication of invasive phragmites will be a multi-year project as more infested patches are likely to be found. We will continue to work with State and local groups to make adjustments to the eradication plan as needed.

What Should Lake-shore Owners Do? First, join the Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association. Dues are only $30 and your dues will be used to fight aquatic invasive species in our lakes. Visit to join now.

Secondly, be on the lookout for invasive phragmites and report any possible sightings on our website using this contact form.

Thirdly, come to the Public Meeting on Wednesday, August 7th 2019 from 6:30 – 8:00 at the Uncommon Loon Brewing Company in Chisago City, Minnesota. All Chisago Chain of Lakes lake-shore owners are especially encouraged to attend. Experts will be on hand to answer your questions.

Finally, stay informed. To learn more, Google ‘Minnesota invasive phragmites’ and read what the DNR and MAISRC have to say. You’ll also find identification guides on the MAISRC website.

The Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association will continue to communicate with members via email concerning up-coming treatments, etc. and Information will also be posted on our website. So if you are not a member, join today!