Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week of October 28, 2007

Updated November 2, 2007

Emerald Ash Borer: Found in West Virginia

Emerald ash borer (EAB), a highly destructive, non-native beetle that attacks ash trees, has been found in Fayette County, WV, according to Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass. “We were surprised to find the beetle this far south, because the closest known areas of infestation are in Ohio and Pennsylvania,” said WVDA Plant Industries Division Director Gary W. Gibson.


Draft South Carolina Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan (Oct 2007; PDF 4.37 MB) South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Aquatic Nuisance Species Program.


Home Values on Invasive Plant Infested Lakes Carol Ann Doucette is a Realtor and the president of a lake association in Maine. Carol is doing a survey of homes which are located on invasive plant infested lakes. Currently there are 29 lakes infested with Milfoil with an approximate total of all lakes in Maine at 6000. Carol (and the rest of us) would love to know any information from Realtors and property owners how this has or is effecting sales and values on their lakes throughout the U.S. No statistics are available in Maine to track this.


Zebra mussels: From Warnings to Citations in Washington State

SPOKANE, Washington -- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) enforcement officers have shifted from warnings to issuing citations in an effort to keep Washington's waters free of an invasive species that threatens native fish and wildlife.

The state’s first citations for illegally transporting zebra mussels were issued earlier this month to two out-of-state trucking companies hauling large boats to the Pacific coast. Live zebra mussels were found attached to boats being transported by a hauler from Ontario, Canada, and another from Iowa. The zebra mussels were spotted during Washington State Patrol commercial vehicle inspections at a Washington-Idaho port-of-entry weigh station east of Spokane.

“We hope these citations, which can result in fines up to $5,000, will raise awareness that this state looks at invasive species very seriously,” said Mike Cenci, WDFW deputy chief of enforcement.

“When I talked with the truck driver and trucking company manager from Ontario, both said they fully understand because they’ve seen what zebra mussels have done to the Great Lakes area,” said Capt. Mike Whorton, who heads WDFW’s enforcement operations in eastern Washington. “One trucking company manager said he would no longer haul vessels that have not passed an aquatic-invasive-species inspection.”

Full news release at


Ballast Water Legislation

WASHINGTON (Gannett News Service 1/1/07) — Seven Great Lakes lawmakers are urging Senate leader Harry Reid to aid the region's fight against invasive aquatic species by finding a compromise between competing bills to regulate the discharge of ships' ballast water into the freshwater lakes. In a letter, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and six colleagues said discharge from ships is a key way aquatic organisms enter the Great Lakes and must be controlled. Ships use ballast water for stability and frequently release the water when in port. The five Democrats and two Republicans back legislation by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., but the bill headed to the floor is the Ballast Water Management Act by Sen. Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Commerce Committee. Levin is one of the letter signers. Environmental groups, lawmakers and Wisconsin's attorney general oppose provisions in Inouye's bill they say would exempt the discharges from the Clean Water Act and pre-empt states’ ability to enforce their own anti-pollution laws. The letter writers said those are "concerns about the legislation that need to be addressed prior to the Senate's consideration of the bill. Because of the seriousness of invasive species, it is important to double efforts to resolve those concerns, and we urge you to help find a compromise."


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid:
Young Harris College (YHC) Hemlock Project, Young Harris College (Georgia).


North American Lake Management Society (NALMS)

Excelsior, Minn., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- At its International symposium in Orlando Florida today, the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS), passed the gavel to Dick Osgood, a member of the society since 1980. Mr. Osgood will begin a year-long term as President of the international organization overseeing the agenda for the board as well as all policies and programs, committees and planning for the organization. Osgood's agenda for 2008 identifies several critical lake management challenges in North America, including: Aquatic invasive species, which may "change the game" for lakes by causing serious, wide-spread and irreversible damage; toxic algae, which are becoming more prevalent; and adapting to climate change, which intensifies and accelerates the impacts of aquatic invasive species and toxic algae.,212341.shtml


E-Learning—Engaging Volunteers and the Public in Invasive Plant Issues and Management

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Invasive Plant Management announce a new e-learning website aimed at engaging volunteers and the public in invasive plant issues and management. Designed for National Wildlife Refuge volunteers and Friends groups, the website provides science-based, introductory information that is suitable for anyone interested in learning about invasive plants. The five self-study modules address the purpose and history of the Refuge System, how volunteers help in invasive plant management, how refuges manage invasive plants, and tips for community outreach. Each module contains a quiz and web-based resources that enable learners to explore topics more thoroughly.

The website is part of a larger program carried out by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in conjunction with partners, such as the National Wildlife Refuge Association, to engage volunteers in managing invasive species on National Wildlife Refuges. This program includes competitive grants and training in how to map invasive plant infestations using hand-held computers and GPS devices.

Volunteers and Invasive Plants: Learning and Lending a Hand website:


Meeting: Weed Science Society of America

Registration for the WSSA annual meeting at the Chicago Hilton, February 4-7, 2008 is now open on the WSSA web site: Brochures will be mailing soon but in the meantime, a PDF of the brochure is also available on the site.


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Biocontrol in Maine

KITTERY, Maine — Agents from the state Forest Service in Maine were scheduled to release beetles in Kittery and York on October 30, 2007 to combat another invasive species of bug, the hemlock woolly adelgid. Attacking hemlocks, the invasive pest has infested some 6,000 acres in York County, primarily in Kittery and York, according to information released by the agency Monday. Maine Forest Service Entomologist Charlene Donahue said the bugs will be released in three spots around the area including the Kittery Landtrust and the York Water District. No time has been set for their release because the beetles are still en route via Fed Ex, said Donahue. Once released, the bugs will help control the woolly adelgid population, but are not designed to eradicate the adelgid, just slow it's spread.

Additionall information about the whooly adelgid can be found at the US Forest Service site at


VHS: Penn State Ban on Moving Fish


Pennsylvania has banned removing fish from Lake Erie and its tributaries, and releasing them or using them as bait in other waterways. A Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture quarantine order took effect Monday for areas of Erie and Crawford counties that are part of the Lake Erie watershed. Those areas include most of northern and western Erie County, and the northwestern corner of Crawford County. The order was issued to control the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia. The virus poses no risk to humans, but causes internal bleeding in fish and has been linked to numerous fish kills in the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie.


Lamprey in Vermont
Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials are seeking to increase the level of pesticide that could be applied in the Poultney and Hubbardton rivers this fall, to bring about a more complete kill of baby lamprey living in the streams.

Wayne A. LaRoche, commissioner of Vermont Fish and Wildlife, has sent a memorandum to officials in the Department of Environmental Conservation to increase concentrations of TFM, the lampricide from 1.1 times minimum lethal concentration to 1.3 times mlc in a permit issued earlier this month.

The proposed change would be a "major modification" to the existing permit and will require a standard review in order to be considered, Susan Brittin, an environmental scientist that coordinates DEC's Aquatic Nuisance Control program, said this week.


Codium fragile: Botany Photo of the Day

See a beautiful photo of Codium fragile subsp. tomentosoides at
The photo, by Courtnay Hermann, is also at AlgaeBASE, together with some good information, at


Faucet Snail: Finding the Exotic Faucet Snail (Bithynia tentaculata): Investigation of Waterbird Die-Offs on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (2007)

By Jennifer S. Sauer, Rebecca A. Cole, and James M. Nissen

Beginning in 2002, there have been major waterbird die-offs every spring and fall in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (UMR Refuge). UMR lies within the Mississippi Flyway, through which an estimated 40 percent of the continent’s waterfowl migrate. Through the 2006 spring migration, an estimated 22,000–26,000 birds died on the UMR Refuge.

Wildlife pathologists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), Madison, Wisconsin, found that infection by two trematode parasites was the cause of death. An exotic snail known as the faucet snail is the first and second intermediate host for the trematodes. The faucet snail, with a shell length that can reach 15 mm, is typically found in freshwater ponds and shallow lakes. Waterbirds are at risk of consuming the trematodes inadvertently as they eat snails, which are important in their diets.

Faucet snails are native to and well distributed throughout Europe. The snail was introduced into the Great Lakes in the early 1870s. In Wisconsin, faucet snails were only found in Lake Michigan and the Wolf River drainage until 2002 when they were found in Lake Onalaska.

See the full report at:


Giant Hogweed: "Monstrous Toxic Weed on the Attack on Long Island"

Monday, October 29th 2007, 4:00 AM

It's called giant hogweed, and this Godzilla of weeds produces a hefty stalk that can reach 15 feet high and sprout leaves as wide as 5 feet.

But it is the hogweed's watery, toxic sap that has earned it the dubious distinction of being declared a public health hazard. The plant's juices can cause burning and blistering to human flesh, and leave blackish scars that can last several years.

And it's here on Long Island. The plant, which sprouts massive clusters of white flowers, was included in a list of 63 invasive plant species that Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi aims to ban from local shops by 2009.

"It's like Audrey from 'Little Shop of Horrors.' It's a huge, huge plant," said Allan Lindberg, a wildlife biologist with the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. Lindberg said staff at the Muttontown Preserve in East Norwich, on Long Island's North Shore, has been battling the plant for 10 years. The only other known patch of giant hogweed on Long Island is on the grounds of a horse stable off Northern Blvd., near the preserve.


Invasive Plant Species Threaten Upper Delaware
By SARAH THOMAS, The Wayne Independent

Japanese Knotweed, Purple Loosestrife, and Rock Snot may not sound like the names of a dangerous band of invaders. But for property owners and National Park Service officials on the Upper Delaware River, they're no laughing matter. They are just three of the 61 species of invasive plants threatening one of the country's premier natural waterways.

Continued at


Cornell Cooperative Extension: Apple, biofuel and invasive species programs are some newly funded research and extension projects

By Lauren Chambliss, Cornell Chronical Online

Research projects on biofuels, apples and teaching youths to cook to promote healthy eating are just a few of the 94 new research and extension programs that will be funded this year with more than $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

The money will be disbursed to new research and extension projects in such diverse areas as human health, food safety, communicating in the Internet age, global climate change, renewable energy and agriculture. They include projects on:

Biofuels -- finding the right mix of field grasses specifically for New York that will provide the best, most sustainable, economically efficient fuel source for the "green" energy revolution;

West Nile virus -- investigating new methods of mosquito population control to reduce the threat of diseases transmitted to humans;

Youth and health -- using cooking skills to promote healthy eating among youth;

Invasive species -- keeping New York's lakes and rivers healthy and flowing by researching the ecosystem impact of invasive aquatic plants; and

Apples -- promoting one of the state's largest agricultural products by creating new strategies to benefit processed apple products.

Appropriated by Congress under authority of the federal Hatch, Smith-Lever, McIntire-Stennis and Animal Health acts, these "federal formula funds" go to the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES), New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva (NYSAES) and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The annual project awards primarily go to faculty at the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology and Veterinary Medicine.

Complete article at


Asian Carp

The Asian carp, a non-native species imported from China and Siberia, is eating its way up the Mississippi River toward the Great Lakes, conquering water ecosystems in its path.

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