Starry Trek 2019

Join us for a day searching for one of Minnesota's newest aquatic invasive species, starry stonewort (and other AIS). Starry stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since spread to 11 Minnesota lakes. Now we are asking for your help in searching other lakes to better understand its distribution in Minnesota. You can learn more about starry stonewort here.

You will be teaming up with volunteers across the state as well as volunteers in Wisconsin participating in a sister event (AIS Snapshot Day) to help in the early detection of aquatic invasive species. During our inaugural event in 2017, volunteers participating in Starry Trek discovered a new population of starry stonewort in Grand Lake (Stearns County). As a result of this discovery the local lake association and MN DNR teamed up in a rapid response plan to remove the small patch of starry stonewort and have since been able to limit the spread of the population in Grand Lake beyond the boat launch area it was initially discovered at.

Local training sites are located across the state and will be hosted by local agencies and organizations to search nearby locations (see map below for participating locations). Participants will meet at the local training site in the morning and will be assigned sites to search upon arrival. All participants will need to return to the local training site to check-in and turn in an specimens and datasheets at the end of the day. Training will occur on-site when you arrive. No experience necessary! Participants under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Youth clubs (scouts, 4-H, etc.) can contact Megan Weber to learn how to participate as a club.

Click the "Register" button to view the list of local training sites and to register to participate at a location near you! You will receive an e-mail with additional details about your location, including your local coordinator's contact information. Volunteers will receive a complimentary tote bag and boot brush for participating in this free event (guarenteed availability for all volunteers registered prior to August 10th).

In the event of inclement weather, local sites will move the event to August 18th (following the same schedule). You will be notified via e-mail if your local training site site is impacted by inclement weather.

Click the map to view an interactive map of Starry Trek rendezvous locations and find a site near you!

Click this map to link to an interactive map and view local training sites across Minnesota

Thank you to our local host organizations!

  • AIS Detectors Volunteers

  • Aitkin County SWCD

  • Anoka County Parks

  • Becker SWCD

  • Beltrami County ESD

  • Big Stone 4-H AIS Team

  • Carver County Water Management Organization

  • Cass County Environmental Services

  • Chisago County

  • Crow Wing County Land Services

  • Dakota County

  • Douglas County Land and Resource Management

  • Forest Lake Lake Association

  • Hubbard County AIS Program

  • Itasca County SWCD AIS Program

  • Lac Qui Parle SWCD

  • Lake County SWCD

  • Lake of the Woods SWCD

  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

  • Meeker County

  • Morrison County Land Services

  • Ramsey County Conservation

  • Sherburne SWCD

  • St Croix River Associaiton

  • Stearns County COLA

  • Todd SWCD

  • Turtle Lake Association

  • Wright SWCD

  • Youth Eco Solutions (YES!)

Statewide coordination for Starry Trek is by the AIS Detectors Program (jointly supported by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota Extension) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Is there a deadline for registration?

If you register by August 9th, we can ensure we have enough complimentary volunteer totes and refreshments. Late registrations are welcome, but your free tote is not guaranteed.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Individuals under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent of legal guardian. Youth organizations (scouts, 4-H, etc) that wish to participate as a group may do so with advance notice. Please contact Megan Weber ( for more information.


What should I bring to into the event?

Please come prepared for a morning outdoors. Check the weather before your arrival, bring water bottles, snacks, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, hats, etc. We will provide the equipment necessary to do the monitoring.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can contact Megan Weber at Upon registration you will be provided with contact information for the host coordinator for the site you register for.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?



Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?



Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?