Gypsy Moth Suppression Program

Alicia Wallace, Program Coordinator

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite 503
Bay City, Michigan 48708-5941
Voice: (989) 895-4195

2018 Upcoming Phragmites Treatment along Saginaw Bay Shoreline

Treatments to control infestations of the invasive weed Phragmites will be done between August 25, 2018 and December 31, 2018 along the Saginaw Bay shoreline in Bay County. Weather conditions favorable for the treatment will dictate the exact date and time of treatment. Land based treatments will be done by Wildlife& Wetlands Solutions, 4371 N Long Lake Road, Traverse City, MI 49648 . The treatment areas are located along the Saginaw Bay near shore areas in Pinconning and Hampton Townships of Bay County, Michigan and the Property Owners in the spray areas have been notified. Phragmites Chemical treatment will be done with a mixture of the products Aqua Neat and Habitat which are aquatic formulations with the active ingredient pesticides Glyphosate and Imazapyr. These are non-selective herbicides that can cause damage to any plant that they contact. People and pets should avoid contact with the treated areas until spray solution has dried (approximately 6 hours) to prevent transfer of the spray product onto desirable vegetation. Surface water in treatment areas should not be used for irrigation for at least 24 hours after treatment. Mowing of dead Phragmites will also be done two or more weeks following chemical treatments using a Marsh Master.

Maps of treatment areas and labels of the spray products to be used may be viewed by clicking on the links below, or at the Bay County Environmental Affairs and Community Development Department located on the 5th floor of the Bay County Building, 515 Center Ave., Bay City, Michigan 48708.

This project was funded in part by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. Any questions should be directed to Laura Ogar, of the Bay County Environmental Affairs and Community Development Department at 989-895-4135 or via email at




Phragmites, Non-Native (Phragmites australis/Common Reed)
Non-nativePhragmites, also known as common reed, is a perennial aggressive wetland grassthat easily outcompetes native plants and displaces native animals. Due to itsdistinctive height, fluffy seed heads, and ability to grow in dense groups,Phragmites is easy to spot. Geneticstudies have been done which confirm there is a variety of Phragmites along theEastern Seaboard of the United States. However, native Phragmites has alwaysbeen rare, doesn’t grow as densely, and blends in balance with natural vegetation.  Today, invasive Phragmites is found across North Americaand dominates along the Atlantic coast where few native Phragmites populationsremain. Non-nativePhragmites, which is European in origin, first occurred in the eastern part ofthe United States in the early 19th century. The rapid spread ofPhragmites was likely related to the construction of major roadways, railroads,habitat disturbance, shoreline development, pollution, and the process ofeutrophication.


Whyis non-native Phragmites an issue?

  • Recreational Impacts:Walking even a little ways into a stand of non-native Phragmites can bedifficult because the growth can be exceptionally dense and tall, and thevegetation can be abrasive to your skin.

  • Visual Impacts:Phragmites can grow up to eighteen feet tall, obscuring views for landowners,nearby residents, and visitors.

  • Biological Impacts: Phragmitesoutcompetes and blocks out native vegetation and provides little to no food orshelter for most wildlife which normally thrive in these environments. Phragmites can also eliminate water channeland pool habitats which offer natural refuge and feeding grounds forinvertebrates, fish, and waterbirds. Phragmites can create a dense jungle ofvegetation that native species cannot penetrate. In addition, decomposing Phragmites can raisesurface elevation, depriving wetlands and marshes of vital nutrients needed bynative plants and animals for survival.

How does Phragmites spread?

  • Phragmites can be spread by wind or animal-born seeds orby intentional introduction by people. Most commonly however, Phragmitesspreads by horizontal above-ground stolons and underground rhizomes.
  • Stolons grow from an existing stem and are thin horizontalstructures that grow above ground, sprouting new plants. Rhizomes areunderground horizontal stems that also send out roots and shoots to start newplants. Stolons can grow dozens of feetannually, and new plants can sprout at nodes located every few inches along thestolon. Rhizomes, which create thick underground mats, can expand at the rateof around 30 feet per year, with new plants sprouting all along the rhizome.
These are a few ofthe issues which can make non-native Phragmites so difficult to deal with. EvenPhragmites which has been treated and appears dead is likely to have viableseeds and rhizomes. Once well established, Phragmites can be difficult tocontrol or eradicate. 


Check Out the Phragmites in the Coastal Zone Map of Michigan

PRESS RELEASE -DNR,DEQ, MDARD to host outreach events at boat launches during Aquatic InvasiveSpecies Awareness Week (June 29, 2016)

Gov. Rick Snyder hasproclaimed July 3-9 as Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in Michigan, andstate departments are observing the week with outreach events at more than 50boat launches statewide.  AIS are non-native aquatic plants and animals that disrupt the naturalecosystem, tourism and the economy.  The week is highlighted by the third annual AIS Landing Blitz, an outreachevent for boaters held at boat landings around the state. The DEQ is partneringwith local volunteers as well as the Department of Natural Resources andDepartment of Agriculture and Rural Development to assist boaters in preventingthe spread of these harmful species and complying with current AIS-relatedlaws.  With recent discoveries of invasive New Zealand mudsnails in the Au Sable andPere Marquette rivers, the week takes on an added importance. Many invasivespecies, including New Zealand mudsnails, are easily spread by boaters andanglers using their equipment in multiple bodies of water without properlycleaning it.  Anyone enjoying Michigan’s waters can take action to prevent the spread ofaquatic invasive species by following these simple steps:

Required Actions – It’sthe Law in Michigan!

  • Remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water.
  • Drain live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving the access site.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.
  • Don’t transfer fish to water bodies other than where they were caught.

Recommended Actions –Protect Our Waters!

  • Inspect and remove plants and mud from boats and trailers and dry equipment before leaving the access area. Dispose of the material in a trash receptacle or otherwise away from the water body if possible.
  • Wash boats and trailers before leaving the access area if possible, or at a nearby car wash or at home.
  • Dry boats and equipment for at least five days before launching into a different body of water.
  • Disinfect live wells and bilges with bleach solution of 1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water.

The Great Lakes andMichigan’s inland waters draw millions of recreational users and touristsannually, and already face negative impacts from numerous aquatic invasive species.Preventing the introduction of further invasive species is a responsibility foreveryone who uses these resources.  Events at boat launches are contingent on weather and local volunteeravailability. For an up-to-date list of events, contact Kevin Walters at517-284-5473 or  AIS Awareness Week is sponsored by the DEQ’s Water Resources Division with collaborativeefforts from other state and federal agencies as well as private and nonprofitorganizations. For more information about AIS Awareness Week, the AIS LandingBlitz, or to view the Governor’s proclamation, visit Michigan’s invasivespecies website at

 Phragmites Information of Interest