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Since 2017, SCLA leaders, volunteers, and lake biologists have focused on the threat of Yellow Flag Iris to the Spider Chain of Lakes.  We hope you will be part of the solution.


Yellow Flag Iris is present and expanding in the Spider Lake Chain. It is a fast-growing and fast-spreading invasive which can outcompete other wetland plants, forming almost impenetrable thickets in much the same way that cat-tails do.  Small clumps can be dug out, though this is only effective if the rhizomes are entirely removed. Mowed plants will regenerate from the rhizomes, so plants must be cut multiple times to exhaust their energy reserves.  The sap may cause skin irritation, so gloves should be worn when handling cut or otherwise damaged stems. 


Yellow Iris can be controlled by glyphosate-based herbicides. Plants growing near standing water should be treated with an herbicide approved for aquatic use to minimize harm to amphibians.

No effective biological control agent is known at this time.


  • If you find Yellow Flag Iris, and the plant is accessible, remove the plant as follows:
    • Wear gloves; skin irritation can occur with contact with plant roots.
    • Clip flower heads and pull or dig out plants and roots.
    • Place all plant material in garbage bags and take to Town of Spider Lake Solid Waste, at no charge.
  • If you cannot access the roots of the plant, remove the flowers and seed pods (wearing gloves), bag the material, and take it to Town Hall Solid Waste, at no charge.
If you are unable to check your property or need help to remove Yellow Flag Iris, let us know by

Tell us your property location, and site of Yellow Flag Iris on your property. We will ask volunteers to check your property and remove plants from your shoreline.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INVASIVE PLANTS on Spider Chain: Invasive Species page

SCLA Rapid Response Plan for Discovery of Invasives

Additional Reading on Invasives

“The High Cost of War,” by Jim Brakken of the Bayfield County Lakes Forum

ALL OF OUR PROJECTS ARE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE EFFORTS OF VOLUNTEERS.  PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE or if you would like to be a Lake Monitor (training is provided for all lake monitors; all you need is a boat and a life jacket).

Spider Chain of Lakes Association
PO Box 1082 • Hayward, WI 54843
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