Monday, June 22, 2009

Week of June 22, 2009

Updated June 27

Program on alien plants to be held at Five Rivers Center, NY

Five Rivers CenterA program on the natural history of the common reed, or phragmites, will be conducted Tuesday, July 14, 7 PM, at Five Rivers Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY.

Phragmites is an invasive species that is threatening Five Rivers' wetlands. Join Center naturalists in a "plant posse" as we try to eradicate these plants near our pond by clipping them back. Bring gloves and clippers and dress for the outdoors.

This program is open to the public free of charge. Participants are urged to dress for outdoor activity. Water-friendly footgear is suggested. In the event of inclement weather this program may be canceled. For more information, call the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Five Rivers Environmental Education Center at (518) 475-0291.

Laurel Remus
Director of Public Affairs and Education


Milfoil discovered in Lake Placid, NY

VLMThe Board of Trustees of the Lake Placid Shore Owners' Association (LPSOA) today reported that a strain or strains of milfoil have been discovered at three sites on Lake Placid. Over the past week, two separate samples were removed from Paradox Bay and one from East Lake. Biologists working with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) have tentatively identified two of the samples as Variable Leaf Milfoil (VLM).

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension describes Variable Leaf Milfoil as "an aggressive aquatic plant that can form dense mats that congest waterways and crowd out native aquatic plants. Thick growth of this plant can impair recreational uses of waterways including boating, swimming and fishing. Dense growth of variable-leaf milfoil degrades the native habitat of fish and other wildlife, and may also provide breeding areas for mosquitoes. The main method of dispersal of this plant appears to be fragmentation. Plant fragments are moved around by people, animals and water currents."

APIPP has not yet listed VLM as an aquatic invasive species, but has placed it on an invasives watch list. Locally, VLM is the dominant milfoil growth on Lake Flower in the Village of Saranac Lake, and is found on Long, and Raquette Lakes among others.

Lake Placid Shore Owners' Association President Mark Wilson released the following statement:

"The discovery of this potentially aggressive plant in our waters marks a significant moment in the natural history of Placid Lake, as well as a turning point for the broader Lake Placid/North Elba community and communities throughout the region. The threat posed by invasive organisms to our environment, and ultimately to the economic livelihood of our region is serious and advancing. The Village of Lake Placid, Town of North Elba, Shore Owner's Association, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and other state and local agencies need to act quickly to contain any existing colonies of VLM and work to prevent any further introduction of aggressive aquatic plants into our lake."

State agencies, local governments and private boat launch owners throughout the northern Adirondacks must take responsibility for preventing the export of invasive or nuisance aquatic organisms by boats and trailers leaving their launch sites."

On Friday, June 26 and Sunday, June 28, APIPP personnel and LPSOA volunteers will be mapping outbreak locations on Paradox Bay and on East Lake in the vicinity of the Lake Placid Marina and the adjacent DEC boat launch site. Boaters operating in these areas are urged to do so with utmost caution and to avoid driving through any aquatic weed patch visible beneath the lake surface.

Posted by Mark Wilson
Adirondack Almanac

Illustration from the


2009 Southeast Herbicide Applicator Conference

September 22-24, 2009
Edgewater Beach Resort
Panama City Beach, Florida

Registration is now open for the 2009 Southeast Herbicide Applicator Conference.

The registration fee, combined with funds contributed by the generous sponsors, provides each attendee the educational program, course materials, a Book of Presentations, morning, mid-day and afternoon refreshments, the Tuesday evening networking social and Wednesday's welcome reception.

Early Reduced Registration Fee (By July 31, 2009) $225.00

Guest Fee (10 years of age and older) $75.00

Click here to view the agenda.

For additional information and updates on the conference, please bookmark and visit our website

Jhanna Gilbert, Conference Coordinator
University of Florida, IFAS
UF Leadership & Education Foundation, Inc.
Office of Conferences & Institutes


WEBINAR Announcement – Emerald Ash Borer in New York: The Insect, The Impact, and Your Options

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was detected in western New York on June 14, 2009. Although the insect was anticipated, its presence will result in significant changes in both rural and urban woodlands throughout the state. In other states, infestation by EAB resulted in significant losses among all ash species and unexpected stress on rural and urban owners, communities and businesses.

An Internet webinar will be offered on Thursday June 25 at 10:00 AM (eastern). Participation in the webinar requires a high-speed Internet connection and speakers to listen. The webinar will address the insect, its potential impact in New York, options for management, and identify sources of information. The webinar will be interactive and presented by Mark Whitmore of the Cornell University Department of Natural Resources. The webinar is free, but participants must register through to receive the URL to connect. More information about webinars is available at the ForestConnect website. The webinar will be recorded and available for subsequent viewing. Webinar technology is made available through Cornell University Cooperative Extension. More information about the emerald ash borer in New York is available at

If you have previously registered for webinars through ForestConnect, you do not need to re-register.

Peter J. Smallidge
NYS Extension Forester and Director, Arnot Teaching and Research Forest
Cornell University
116 Fernow HallIthaca, NY 14853


EAB Webinar available online

Great effort by Peter Smallidge, Mark Whitmore, Holly Menninger and others to make available the 06-25 EAB webinar. 06-25-09 Emerald Ash Borer presentation by Mark Whitmore-Cornell is available at

One of many archived resource PPTs from

Re: Monitoring or reporting suspected occurrence: EAB Incident Command System contact is Russ Biss, DEC Region 9 Natural Resources Supervisor. He can be reached at the command post at 716-938-6181. He may refer callers to others, depending on the nature of the call.

Paul Fuhrmann
ecology and environment, inc.


Handling eco-squatters in Kentucky

By JOHN FRIEDLEIN, The News-Enterprise (

As the saying goes, when a butterfly flaps its wings in China, a hurricane is created somewhere else in the world.

Well, what if a gypsy moth flaps its wings in Kentucky?

All sorts of things we’d probably never guess would happen are happening as invasive species overrun this region.

Those purple traps dangling from more than 100 trees in Hardin County, for instance, are part of a larger battle that may help keep the baseball bat industry from striking out.

Also, the proliferation of non-native species may even lead to more crime, said Songlin Fei, a University of Kentucky professor who has spent a lot of time mapping and monitoring invasives.

He called the situation created by their spread “critical.”

This state could play a crucial role keeping them in check. Because of its unique geographical position, it’s one of the key areas for stopping or slowing the assault, according to UK’s Invasive Species Working Group.

Emerald ash borers – whose spread is monitored by the purple traps – are just one of many invasive species wreaking havoc in the state. Fire ants are marching across the Tennessee border. Gypsy moths — which, like the borers, defoliate trees — are tramping into the northeastern part of Kentucky. Kudzu — well, don’t lie down too long outside. [...]

Read the full story at link

John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or jfriedlein@ His Stories from the Heartland column appears Mondays in The News-Enterprise.


Invasive species impact Pennsylvania's 2009 bass forecast

By Mike Bleech, Pennsylvania Game and Fish

The biggest news in Pennsylvania bass fishing over the past few years has been problems with smallmouth bass recruitment in the Susquehanna River. However, this should not mislead bass anglers into thinking that the outlook for 2009 is anything less than very good. Bad news makes better headlines than good news. There are plenty of good stories to tell.


However, before the good news there is an important message for Keystone State bass anglers about measures they can take to protect our bass resources. Largemouth bass virus has been documented in Pennsylvania since about 2005, most notably at Francis J. Sayers Lake, a lake in the central part of the commonwealth, which is extremely popular among bass tournament anglers.

More recently another virus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia, was detected in the Great Lakes. Regulations have been adopted in all Great Lakes states to prevent its spread. Guidelines for anglers are about the same as those for preventing the spread of largemouth bass virus, but there are specific regulations governing the movement of fish.

"I think prevention and awareness are important among anglers," said Bob Lorantas, Warmwater Unit leader for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. "It's best not to move bass around because you could potentially be introducing something you really don't want. And certainly if you fish out of state a lot, or fish a lot of different waters, using the sterilization techniques that are effective for zebra mussels would be a good procedure to avoid harming your favorite bass water."

Lorantas said that anglers should check the boat, motor and trailer for hitchhikers including weeds when they remove their boat from the water.

"Wash the boat hull with hot water or a high-pressure spray," he advised. "Drain the livewell, bilge and other compartments, and drain all standing water from the boat. Do not dump leftover bait into the water where you are fishing unless you collected the bait there.

"You may want to refrain from moving fish from Point A to Point B anywhere in the state because you run the risk of transporting harmful creatures that you really don't want to move around: microorganisms, disease organisms in particular, things that may actually do more harm than good," Lorantas said.

Anglers have done great damage to countless fisheries because they introduced nuisance invasive species. Sometimes this has been accidental, but in many cases, it has been intentional.

Often, anglers have introduced fish into waters because they wanted to create new fisheries for their favorite fish. In many cases, the results have been disastrous. A classic case is the carp, which was brought to America centuries ago by colonists. In Europe this species had been, and still is, highly prized, but in America it's still considered a "trash fish" that muddies the water, ruins habitat and devours the eggs of more popular species. [...]

Read the full article at link.


Microbes may be answer to invasive mussels


An eco-friendly bacteria that kills invasive mussels will be tested for the first time in Canada at the Decew Falls hydro plant.

Ontario Power Generation will monitor the specialized microbe's ability to kill zebra and quagga mussels, which threaten power production at the combined 170-megawatt power stations on Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines.

Normally, the power producer uses up to 20,000 litres of chlorine every year to control the tiny mussels at its Niagara generators, said Tony Van Oostrom, a senior environmental adviser for OPG.

"If we don't treat it, our cooling systems get plugged and the plant shuts down," Van Oostrom said of the fast-multiplying mussels, which are notorious for plugging water-intake pipes, ruining underwater machinery and coating the underside of boats.

Chlorine kills mussels, but it can also poison fish, plants and other aquatic life.

Van Oostrom said OPG has managed to cut down its total chlorine use from 100,000 litres a year over the last decade. "But if this works, we could stop using it completely," he said.

It has worked incredibly well in smaller-scale tests so far, said Daniel Molloy, a scientist with the New York State Museum who discovered the potential of Pseudomas fluorescens.

"We tested this bacteria in many small-scale trials," Molloy told a crowd at the announcement at Decew Falls Generating Station Tuesday. "It kills zebra and quagga mussels, but even more importantly, no other aquatic organism died. This is extraordinary."

Molloy has teamed up with a California company, Marrone Bio Innovations, to market the bacteria as a product. "This is not only the first Canadian trial for my little bacterium, but the first worldwide trial ... on this scale," he said.

The mashed-up microbes are introduced into the water as a food source for the bacteria-loving mollusks, which won't clam up to protect themselves as they do with chemical killers.

"They eat the stuff, they're happy and then they're dead," said Van Oostrom, who plans to have a full-scale test of the bacteria running by August.

Read the full story at link.


Maryland: Commissioners consider changes to weed-control ordinance

By HEATHER KEELS, The Herald-Mail

WASHINGTON COUNTY — As they considered potential changes to the county’s weed-control ordinance Tuesday morning, the Washington County Commissioners heard feedback from people with two very different visions for the future of residential subdivisions.

One side values the suburban tradition of neat, weed-free lawns with carpets of 2 1/2-inch grass.

The other, promoted by Washington County Soil Conservation District Manager Elmer Weibley, predicts a future in which tall, native grasses are not only permitted, but could be required in parts of new residential subdivisions as an environmental management strategy. [...]

Read the full story at link.


Popular or not, Maryland DNR is doing the right thing

Gail Mackiernan, Silver Spring

I want to respond to June 17 letters relative to the Department of Natural Resources' decision to eliminate exotic mute swans from the Chesapeake Bay. I continue to wonder why the writers express so little concern for the plight of the native species directly and indirectly harmed by mute swans.

These range from threatened water birds to blue crabs and other animals that depend on submerged vegetation for survival. (And make no mistake, mute swans eat a lot of Bay grasses, as has been shown in numerous peer-reviewed studies. These data are easy to find but some choose to ignore it.)

It is unfortunate that many are vocal in seeking protection for this voracious and aggressive bird while showing no concern over its impacts on our many beautiful native creatures or on the Bay environment itself.

Have they ever seen our native tundra swans flying in like white ghosts, to land in the autumn Bay after their long journey south from the Arctic? And, have they then seen the larger mute swan attack, drive off and even injure their smaller cousin, leading to continuing declines in their numbers? Those of us who spend time on the Bay can relate numerous instances.

And what about the summer grass beds eaten out by flocks of mute swans? Or the native birds that have been driven off by aggressive nesting mutes? Are these not also worthy of our concern?

Keep 500 mute swans? It only took a flock of 50 molting mutes to completely wipe out the only black skimmer colony in Maryland. In 1989 there were 500 mutes in the Bay; by 1999 these has exploded to almost 4,000! Mute swans can live 30 years and have high reproductive rate; only complete removal of the adults will halt their damage to the Bay's ecosystem.

Obviously humane methods should be used but the state needs to continue with its well-researched control efforts.

Popular or not, DNR is doing the correct thing — invasive, non-native species are one of the greatest threats to aquatic ecosystems worldwide and they should be eradicated wherever possible. For this reason Bay scientists and environmental groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, National Audubon Society, American Bird Conservancy as well as the Maryland Ornithological Society, all supported the state's 2003 decision to eliminate mute swans from the Chesapeake. The reasons for their support have not changed. [...]

Read the full letter at link.


War on milfoil resumes in New Hampshire's lakes

By Donna Rhodes,

LAKES REGION — A growing problem in N.H. is again drawing attention as crews set out to tackle milfoil problems in the lakes.

Spring is an opportune time to begin the task of eradication of this noxious weed as plants have not yet grown to their full potential. The state Department of Environmental Services has targeted areas like Jay's Marina in Tilton to address through a five-year plan of weed eradication.

2-4d, a chemical component known to not just defoliate but spread to the roots of the plant, was sprayed at the marina's dock area earlier this month. It is the first step in attacking the problem when it grows out of control.

"It's a process," said state limnologist Jody Connor. "They sprayed on Friday and will go back and spray again later when they can move some of the boats out of the way to get underneath them, too."

The chemical disperses in the water column quickly, heading into the root system of the milfoil. Although bass have nested in the area, they leave when disturbed by the spraying and return later. Connor assured that the chemical does not affect them as a part of the food chain.

"This chemical (2-4 d) is an herbicide and we use such a low concentration of it in the spraying," Connor said. "It's taken up through the root system of the plant very quickly and kills it, especially the crowns."

Following the spraying, Connor said a crew would most likely be sent in to hand harvest some of the remaining plants.

Read the full story at link.


Rocky Horror

By Jennifer Forman Orth, Invasive Species Weblog

A guy in New York is celebrating today because his ginormous, so-ugly-its-cute pet snakehead fish, named "Rocky," has been given a reprieve by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. As long as he applies for a permit (and pays the $500 permit fee), he can keep Rocky in a tank.


Georgia panel suggests using fish to clear weeds from river

By Rob Pavey,

If you can't kill the weeds, maybe you can hire fish to eat them.

That was the consensus Monday of an Augusta Port Authority subcommittee working to find a solution for aquatic weeds that have all but closed off portions of the Savannah River.

"The grass carp is what the committee, apparently, wants to pursue," authority Chairman Frank Carl said. "But before we do anything, we need to get more specifics on how many carp, when and where to put them in, and all the details we need to build a budget."

Aquatic weeds in the river include dense mats of Brazilian elodea -- an invasive exotic -- that are choking shallow areas around homes and docks. The weed beds also trap litter and silt, causing the channel to gradually shrink or fill in.

Though control options include investing in a mechanical harvester or herbicides, the use of sterile grass carp that feed voraciously on the unwanted vegetation is probably the best idea, committee member Bill Bricker said.

Read the full story at link.


New York State DEC: Tangling with new invasive species

EABBy John Hopkins, Niagara Gazette

Another invasive species has arrived in Western New York, and state officials are taking up arms to eradicate the creatures.

Although it doesn’t pose a threat to humans, the emerald ash borer, a type of beetle native to Asia, has the potential to wipe out the ash tree population — on a grander scale than what Dutch elm disease did to urban landscapes in the 1960s and ’70s.

It would also, state officials say, have an impact on the state and national economies. The eastern U.S. produces $25 million in ash timber a year. When you factor in other businesses that benefit from ash wood, the economic losses nationwide could be more than $20 billion.

Officials say it was only a matter of time before the insect arrived in New York state.

“It is not surprising,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker. “This beetle has been detected on either side of Lake Ontario for several years now and there is little that can be done to stop the natural spread of this devastating pest.”

Since its 2002 detection in the U.S., the beetle has migrated from where it was first found — the Detroit area — to 13 states and at least two Canadian provinces.


The adult beetle leaves behind a D-shaped hole that is difficult to notice at first.

Signs that a tree is infected by the beetle include the canopy dying off; a yellowing, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk; and browning of leaves. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage.

Read the full story at link.


Lake Zoar, CT to be treated for Eurasian watermilfoil

MONROE-NEWTOWN-OXFORD-SOUTHBURY, CT. - Selected areas of Lake Zoar will be chemically treated Wednesday, July 1, with the USEPA/CT registered aquatic herbicide Reward.

This chemical treatment targets control of invasive and non-invasive Eurasian watermilfoil weed.

Approximately 41 acres of this 900 acre lake will be treated. Only specific treatment areas will be closed to all water uses, including swimming, fishing and boating, on the day of treatment only.

A map showing the specific treatment areas will be posted at the State Boat Ramp, at other public access sites to the lake and at the town offices in each of the four communities of Monroe, Newtown, Oxford and Southbury.

Prior to treatment, the lake shoreline in the treatment areas and at public access sites will be posted with printed signs, warning of the temporary water use restrictions.

In addition to the aforementioned restricted water uses, additional restrictions include no use of the lake water for watering livestock for five days (i.e. cattle, horses, etc., which does not apply to pets and wildlife that may drink the lake water); no use for irrigation for five days (watering lawns, shrubs, gardens or plants of any kind); and no use of the treated lake water for drinking for five days.

The Authority has engaged an independent, professional lake consultant who will monitor the effectiveness and results of this treatment. The chemical treatment will be performed by Aquatic Control Technology, Inc., of Sutton, Mass.

Aquatic Control is a leading lake management company that performs chemical treatments on more than 150 ponds/lakes each year in Connecticut alone. It has used this same herbicide previously at Bantam Lake and Lake Lillinonah with good success.

Those seeking additional information about this treatment may call Bernie Litzner at 203-736-6894.

Read the full story at link.


St. Lawrence Seaway's 50th anniversary soiled by invaders

By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel

Fifty years ago Friday, President Dwight Eisenhower and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II walked down a red carpet, climbed aboard a "floating palace" of a yacht named Britannia, and ceremoniously sailed through the St. Lambert lock near Montreal to hail the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The $470 million system of channels, locks and dams was built to open the Great Lakes to the rest of the world.

And it did, for better and for worse.

The Seaway has turned out to be something of a boutique regional transportation route for two primary commodities, inbound foreign steel and outbound domestic grain.

Yet, opening the once-isolated freshwater lakes to the rest of the world brought more than dollars. The invasive species that arrived with the foreign cargo have wrought ecological and economic chaos.

Zebra and quagga mussels are only two of about 60 foreign species that have arrived as hitchhikers aboard oceangoing vessels since the Seaway opened. And these little mollusks alone have cost us billions of dollars by plugging industrial water intakes, starving fish populations and triggering algae outbreaks that have trashed treasured shorelines.

"The damage invasive species have caused to the Great Lakes is astounding," said Dennis Schornack, former U.S. chair of the International Joint Commission. "But, what's most frustrating is that we still haven't closed this door."

A coalition of 50 organizations is marking Friday's anniversary with a renewed demand for changes in the shipping industry to protect the world's largest freshwater system. It has outlined seven principles it wants the industry to embrace in the coming years.

The principles call on the industry to stop dumping its biological pollution in harbors, drop any designs to expand the Seaway, minimize its ice-breaking activities in sensitive areas, and reduce air emissions, among other things.

Conservationists point to President Barack Obama's plan to pump new dollars into Great Lakes restoration efforts as reason to lean on the shipping industry to do more to protect the lakes.

"If the Obama administration is going to be investing nearly a half-billion dollars into restoration in the next year, then we have to ensure that shipping doesn't undo all that," said Jennifer Nalbone of the conservation group Great Lakes United.


The lakes are now home to more than 185 non-native species. In the past nine years, a new species has been discovered, on average, about every eight months - among the latest being a tiny red shrimp found in Lake Michigan in late 2006.

Conservationists want federal legislation requiring ship owners to install ballast tank treatment systems to kill freshwater invaders, though Congress has been working unsuccessfully on the issue for years.

Frustrated by the inaction, Great Lakes states have begun taking matters into their own hands. Michigan and New York have passed their own ballast regulations, which have successfully withstood legal action from the shipping industry. [...]

Read the full story at link.


No comments: