The Minnesota Biological Survey (MBS) systematically collects, interprets, and delivers baseline data on the distribution and ecology of rare plants, rare animals, native plant communities, and functional landscapes needed to guide decision making. As part of this effort, MBS conducts aquatic plant surveys focused on Minnesota's rarest aquatic plant species. These surveys have been conducted by MBS botanist, Karen Myhre using the kayak meander method in selected lakes across Minnesota. Rare aquatic plant surveys began in 1995 and by their completion searches will have been conducted in approximately 2,000 of Minnesota's lakes.
Aquatic Plant Reports detail the rare, exotic, and common aquatic and emergent plant species observed at each lake in the course of the survey. Both common and scientific name (genus and species) are list for each plant observed. All rare and exotic plant species are documented by plant collections, which are submitted to the University of Minnesota Bell Herbarium (rare species, exotic species, and collected plants are noted in each lake report). Any plants that are not immediately identifiable are collected and examined under a dissecting microscope and sent to experts for identification if necessary.
Aquatic Plant Reports can be used by members of the public who are interested in knowing what plants occur at their lake and if any rare or exotic species have been observed and documented at their lake.