Aquatic Invasive Species Survey Report

by Carolyn Dindorf, Limnologist, Bolton & Menk, Inc.

The purpose of the survey was to search for aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Lake Independence, with particular attention to Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa). However, both invasive and native plants and animals that were found were identified. This was a partial survey, not a complete survey of the lake.


















The survey was conducted using double rake samplers by members of the Lake Independence Citizens Association with technical assistance from Carolyn Dindorf, a Limnologist with Bolton & Menk, Inc. Two double-sided rake samplers were used and were thrown from each end of the pontoon boat to increase the number of samples and area surveyed.  A depth finder was used to identify areas of vegetation. There was a substantial amount of blue green algae in the water limiting light penetration.  A visual search was not possible due to the algae growth, other than floating plants and any plants that reached the surface. Vegetation was mainly found at depths of 7’ and shallower. But some areas up to 11’ were sampled. Rake loads of vegetation were brought up and placed in a container and sorted through to identify species present.

The survey started at the Three Rivers Park District boat access and continued northwest along the east shoreline in varying depths and then over to the emergent vegetation island and along the north and east side of the island. The north side of the TRPD access was surveyed as well as the area around the City of Independence access. Approximately 2 to 2.5 hours of time was spent on the lake and an estimated 10,000 feet of shoreline was surveyed. A gps track was recorded.

The Results:
No Starry stonewort was found during the survey.  The dominant plant was coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum).   Overflowing rakes of coontail were found on many of the rake tosses.  It was the only plant in most of the samples.  Some Eurasian watermilfoil was found, but very little.  Many of the plants had a lot of zebra mussels on the stems and roots.  There were large clumps of zebra mussels on the roots of the milfoil and coontail and one flat-stem pondweed (Potamogeton zosteriformis).  A curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) turion with a zebra mussel attached was also found. There was a lot of cattail (Typha sp.) on the shoreline and some bulrush along the emergent vegetation island.  The emergent vegetation island had the greatest plant diversity of the areas surveyed. 


Mike commented that he had noticed that the Eurasian watermilfoil had disappeared around his shoreline after the zebra mussels came in and attached to the roots.

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Approximate survey track

Thanks to LICA members Pat and Dick Wulff, Joel Settles, Merry Peticlair, Mike Garwood, Jim Klancke for their hands-on work surveying the lake for AIS.

Check for AIS when removing docks and lifts


When removing boats, docks, lifts, or other water-related equipment this Fall, carefully inspect everything to make sure there are no aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, or New Zealand mudsnails attached.

If you find any AIS please snap a picture and send details to us at

2022 Calendar of Events

Party on the Ice

Saturday February 19

Ice Clean-up Day

Sunday, March 13

Annual Members Meeting

Saturday, April 16

Fishing Club Travel Trophy Kickoff

Saturday, May 14

4th of July Flotilla

Monday, July 4 1:00 P.M.

AIS Monitoring

August 22

Octoberfest in September Picnic

Saturday, September 24th

Fishing Club Travel Trophy Results

April 2023

An adult and juvenile Great Blue Heron relaxing on the back side of island

PHOTO CREDIT: Barbara Zadeh