Monday, January 25, 2010

Week of Januray 25, 2010

Updated 1/28/10

National park battling infestation of hogs

The Associated Press

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- National park biologists are trying to come to grips with a hog infestation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

In 2009, the park's hog team removed 620 wild hogs, the third highest since the hog control program started in the late 1950s. Biologists say the hog population spiked last year because of a bountiful mast crop that enabled the sows to produce more than one litter.

Park biologist Bill Stiver told the Knoxville News-Sentinel the introduction of wild, semi-domesticated hogs into the park has made hog control even more difficult.

"The speculation is that hunters are illegally releasing feral pigs that eventually make their way inside the park," Stiver said. "It's a major problem not just here, but all over North America."

He said numerous hogs killed this year had spotted markings and curly tails associated with domestic pigs.

"We're getting a handful of animals that morphologically look different from our traditional wild boar," Stiver said. "Some of them act different, too. Instead of running away, they let you walk up to them."

Hogs in the park date to the early 1920s, when a herd of European hogs escaped from a game reserve on Hooper's Bald in the mountains of Graham County, N.C. The wild hogs moved into the park by the 1940s and began to wreak havoc on the ecosystem by eating rare plants and salamanders, defecating in streams and turning up the ground.

Biologists believe the wild hogs that invaded the park already had crossed with free-ranging domestic pigs. Their appearance, however, retained the lean hips, large tusks, straight tails and black hair of their European ancestors.

Read more at link.



Potential Invasive Pests Workshop

October 11-14, 2010
Mayfair Hotel • Miami (Coconut Grove), Florida USA

Read more at link.


Camels enlisted to battle Tamarisk (Salt Cedar)

By Bryan Nelson
Mother Nature Network


Tamarisk is one hard-to-kill invasive plant. Since it was first introduced from Eurasia to the United States in the 1800s, it has spread through the West like wildfire — actually, faster than wildfire. Efforts to eradicate it by burning it, cutting it, or dowsing it in herbicides have all failed. But tamarisk does have one formidable foe: hungry camels.

Known for their stubborn personalities, humpy postures and ability to survive for weeks without water, camels and dromedaries also have a keen appetite for salty fare — and tamarisk is as salty as they come. That's why ranchers in Colorado have enlisted the inglorious beasts to eat their way through this invasive species, eradicating it once and for all, according to High Country News.

"They will eat all day if given the opportunity," says Maggie Repp, a camel rancher in Loma, Colo. "My camels have killed every tamarisk on our place, so why not give it a whirl?"

A drooling dromedary may not strike you as a potential landscaper, but they do a good job. Repp says 10 camels can destroy half an acre of tamarisk in two days. That's not necessarily a solution for clearing the pesky shrub from the whole expanse of the Great Plains, but it's the perfect remedy for removing the odd tamarisk patch from your pasture.

Read more at link.


NYSDEC head slated for Save the River event

Watertown Daily Times

CLAYTON, NY — State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander B. "Pete" Grannis and other speakers will discuss the impact of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and the latest status of the Asian carp invasion at Save the River's 21st annual Winter Weekend Conference.

This year's event will be Feb. 5 and 6 at the Clayton Opera House, 405 Riverside Drive.

Read more at link.


USDA awards more than $4 million in weedy and invasive species research grants

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is awarding $4.6 million to 13 universities for research to develop ecologically and economically rational strategies for management, control or elimination of weedy or invasive species.

"Invasive plants and animals are a major threat to food and fiber production, costing U.S. producers between $7 billion and $27 billion per year, but by doing research on controlling and managing weedy and invasive species we help protect the productivity of America's farmers and ranchers," said Merrigan.

Funded projects include work at Cornell University to minimize negative impacts of the European cranefly in perennial grass-based agroecosystems ($454,000).


Japanese stiltgrass summit

The River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area is hosting a research and management summit on the invasive Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) on August 11-12, 2010 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Japanese stiltgrass, also called Nepalese browntop or eulalia, is an aggressive invader of forested habitats in the eastern United States. This summit will discuss recent research and management techniques and will feature presentations, panel discussions, field trips, and poster sessions.

Check for conference updates!


Expert to discuss local decline of bats at NSRWA lecture in Norwell, CT

By Gabrielle Boyle
GateHouse News Service

NORWELL, CT — A deadly fungus has depleted the bat population in Massachusetts and throughout the Northeast.

Dr. Tom French has been studying the reasons behind the sudden decline of bats in the United States over the past few years.

“It is what is called White Nose Syndrome, and it is quite catastrophic,” the doctor explained. “Unfortunately this is spreading rapidly… so we are scared to death how far it will go.”

French, of the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, handles many of these kinds of matters everyday. This particular matter however is happening so quickly and abruptly, that he said attention should be brought on the situation as soon as possible. French is the upcoming speaker for the Water Watch Lecture Series put together by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association. [...]

French will be speaking on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., at the South Shore Natural Science Center. He will be showing slides that he has prepared and answering any questions attendees may have. The lecture is free and open to the public. The science center is located at 48 Jacobs Lane, Norwell, MA. For more information, call (781) 659-8168 or check out the Web site

Read more at link.


TNC Strike Team position

The Nature Conservancy, Illinois Chapter is hiring a “Restoration Specialist – Invasive Strike Team” position. This is an 8 month position and will be based in the southern Illinois region. Deadline to apply for the position is Thursday, February 4, 2010. For a job description and to apply go to


Fish-killing virus has invaded Lake Superior

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

Lake Superior’s newest troublesome invasion won’t come from a giant Asian carp after all, but from a tiny virus that already has caused big fish die-offs along the eastern Great Lakes.

Researchers at Cornell University announced Wednesday that they have found fish-killing VHS virus in fish samples from Lake Superior, including the Twin Ports harbor.

A small number of fish from Superior Bay and St. Louis Bay, as well as some from Paradise and Skanee Bays in Michigan, tested positive for the virus.

“It’s another sad day for the Great Lakes,’’ said Phyllis Green, superintendant of Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.

The research team spent several days in June collecting and sampling healthy fish in Lake Superior. Nearly 900 fish were collected from the lake. The finding means the disease has spread across all of the Great Lakes.

“It’s very unfortunate but not unforeseen. ... It’s obviously going to change how anglers and management agencies conduct business,’’ said Brian Borkholder, fisheries biologist with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Minnesota and Wisconsin already have rules and guidelines in place to limit the spread of other invasive species, so anglers and boaters may be asked only to step up efforts as opposed to making major changes.

“Because of [other] invasive species, anglers have already had to deal with issues such as draining livewells, disposing of bait properly and spraying or drying their boats before going to other waters. This will just heighten things a little bit,” said Roy Johannes, DNR aquaculture and fish health consultant in St. Paul. [...]

Supporters of stronger regulations to thwart invasive species say VHS is only the latest of 180 species to invade the lakes. [...]

Read more at link.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Week of January 18, 2010

Updated 1/22. Latest news is at the bottom of this week's blog.

PA looking for more ways to pay for wildlife services

Saying hunters, anglers pay their share, state agencies seek new money to manage wildlife

Sunday, January 17, 2010
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Some people look out the window and see a natural world that could take care of itself if we would just leave it alone.

But those more experienced in the outdoors and employees of the two agencies that manage the state's wildlife see something else: A man-made landscape of unnatural second growth teeming with thousands of species of plants and animals living in a constantly changing artificial environment.

In short, they see the need for constant and costly stewardship of Pennsylvania's wildlife resources. But it's become increasingly hard to pay for it.

Officials at the state's separate Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission said they're struggling to find alternative funding necessary to maintain services. With a deficit expected in 2011, Fish and Boat commissioners are considering raising fees for fishing licenses.

Unlike other state agencies, the wildlife management commissions get no money from Pennsylvania's general fund, relying since their founding about 100 years ago on revenue raised from hunters and anglers. With no contribution from the general public and a new emphasis on maintaining habitats for nongame species, agency officials said they're strained to the breaking point.

A 2006 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey found that while participation in traditional hunting and fishing was waning, wildlife watching had become the fastest growing outdoors pastime, both nationally and in Pennsylvania.

But plans for expanding the state agencies' existing management of nongame species -- including goals detailed in the Game Commission's newly released five-year plan -- are not financially sustainable under the state's current funding process.

"Wildlife watchers are not funding what they're doing directly," said Jim Bonner, executive director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. "And some of them don't even know it."

Doug Austin, executive director of the Fish and Boat Commission, said even many hunters and anglers don't know where their license fees are going.

"The general public is relatively naive about how the whole system works," he said.

"There's a large percentage of people who don't realize what the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission actually do," Mr. Bonner said, "or that they're funded almost entirely by license fees from hunters and fishermen and the use of state game lands. ... They're in a tough position."

Game Commission executive director Carl Roe is more succinct: "Eight percent of the population is paying for wildlife that is enjoyed by 100 percent of the population."

Read more: link


Invasive politics: Restricting bass boats won't solve plant problem

By Wayne Hooper
January 17, 2010 2:00 AM

Invasive plants are a concern for fisherman, camp owners and fish and game departments of all states.

Some camp owners blame the rise in the number of plants on the boaters, which is wrong. The fish and game departments haven't a clue what to do and the fishermen and boaters are fighting for their rights to zoom up and down the lakes.

Let's break this down. There is a legislative document in the Maine House that will be discussed in the next week or so that states, "No bass tournaments shall be held on any body of water that has invasive plants in it." One legislator has taken upon herself to try and stop bass boats from fishing the lakes as she thinks they are the problem.

My letter to her stated that this is discriminatory, as it blames one group of boaters as the culprits. In it, I said, "If you outlaw all boats at least you would stand a better chance of getting this passed, albeit a slim chance, as whomever votes for a bill such as this will most likely not get reelected in any northeast state. In fact, stoning, tar and feathers, a tea party and so many other reprisals come to mind. In other words, your political career would be hanging by the thinnest of fishing line."

I asked her if she had a camp on a lake that held bass tournaments or did she have a friend who did and she told me she had a cottage on Salmon-McGrath Lake, a bass tournament lake. I asked her why she blamed bass boaters and she really didn't have an answer. She stated that we need to fix this situation. I explained to her that these plants started 40 years ago in Florida, so anyone who fishes bass tournaments is educated, plus if you ask any of the volunteer inspectors at the ramps throughout the state they will tell you how clean bass fishermen keep their boats. They do not want to spread these plants, as it affects the fishing and bass fishermen are all about keeping fish alive, working on conservation projects and helping to pass laws to protect the black bass.

However, if you really think or have been told that bass boats carry plants from lake to lake, that is an absolute LIE. Can this happen? Sure, but every bass club has an invasive plant inspector whose job it is to check all the boats at every tournament. Also, bass boats are usually fished on Sundays and then sit in the yard until the next weekend. By that time the plants would dry out and die. However, if we did transport invasive plants, why aren't there any at the ramps? The ramp areas are clean of weeds and plants. [...]

Read more at link. Featured in Sea Coast Online


USFWS Range Technician (Invasive Species)

SALARY RANGE: 31,315.00 - 40,706.00 USD /year
OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, January 07, 2010 to Thursday, January 21, 2010
SERIES & GRADE: GS-0455-05
DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy - Stafford, KS
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: United States Citizens



UVM researcher rethinking the benefits of worms

By Cheryl Dorschner, Special to the Burlington Free Press • Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nevermind that more than three feet of snow cover many Vermont gardens right now.

Nevermind that this January and February are "gardeners' holidays." Oh, gardeners bundle up and travel the country to dazzling flower shows. They peruse bright catalogs and Web pages weighing the price of $7 packets with barely a dozen seeds inside vs. owning and growing the next new thing. And they dream.

But Vermont gardeners do not give a whit about worms right now.

They should -- because under all that snow and topsoil, the rules have changed.

Ask a gardener about earthworms, and they're extolled as the architects of the underground. Tunneling to aerate and drain soil and bring subsoil to the surface, they chomp through detritus, turn it into rich humus and leave behind castings valued for their high fertility. Earthworms were the darlings of Darwin and are the Vita-Mix of vermiculturists.

Now a University of Vermont research scientist is turning traditional thinking on its ear. Josef Gorres, a plant and soil science faculty member, teases out the truth about life in the universe that lies between sky and bedrock -- topsoil, leaf litter and earth's teeming surface. His findings demonstrate even more so than we already know -- that a sustainable ecosystem is one of delicate balance, of species indicators that signal the overall health of the soil and of the communities of small animals that may turn out to be linchpins of the food web.

New angle on worms

Gorres is seeing firsthand that where worms congregate in the forest, "There is no leaf litter, no organic layer and not as much pore space," he says. As a result, "the surface seed bank is exposed to seed predators and harsh weather. This is where small plants germinate, but because the duff is gone, they can't do that. Therefore, there are fewer herbaceous plants."

Besides grinding the woodland carpet and exposing seeds, earthworms leave a different soil -- fertile in nitrogen, phosphate and potassium.

"Native plants may not adapt to the fast release of nutrients that earthworms cause," Gorres says. "And one hypothesis is that exotic invasive plants move in instead because they have fewer competitors, bare ground to colonize and maybe the edge over natives that are slower to become active earlier in the spring."

Worms' effects on wildflowers and shrubs are documented, but Gorres is interested in the long-term change of the forest canopy. "I'm also interested in how earthworms change the chemistry of soil in production maple forests because that could change the flavor of maple syrup and the color of the foliage," he says. "That part is speculative, but no one has looked at that."

Laying bare the forest floor is fairly new in the Northeast's natural history. Colonists brought Lumbricus terrestris to the Americas on rootstocks and in ship ballast; over time these all but replaced native earthworm populations and spread to wormless areas. Gorres estimates about 15-20 invasive earthworm species in the Northeast. Normally populations spread slowly; nowadays, worms are introduced by construction, with plants, when gardeners purchase red wigglers and by fishermen who dump bait.

While people are well aware of devastating invasive forest insects such as emerald ash borer and hemlock wooly adelgid heading toward Vermont, here's a surprise: "A relatively new worm called 'crazy snakeworm' was first discovered in the 1990s in nine commercial greenhouses in New York City. It is many times more voracious than other earthworms," Gorres says.

He's identified one as well -- in 2008 -- in a patch of ferns at the woodland edge of UVM's own Horticultural Research Farm in South Burlington.

"I'm aware of the two schools of thought, worms as beneficials or invasives, but it would appear to pit gardeners against those concerned with forest ecology," says Alice Beisiegel, who gardens and operates Leaves of Grass landscape design business from Williston. "I do know that my woods are full of earthworms and trilliums, uvularia and other plants that earthworms supposedly harm."

Indeed, all gardeners treasure both the cultivated and uncultivated land, so dearly that these findings -- wait for it -- open a can of worms.

Cheryl Dorschner writes stories for UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where these research scientists work. E-mail

Read more at link.


The Vexing Bugs in the Global Trading System

As More Goods Are Imported From Overseas, Greater Numbers of Invasive Insects and Plants Also Arrive and Bite Business

By KRIS MAHER, The Wall Street Journal

FAYETTEVILLE, West Va.—Perched on a platform 50 feet above the ground in a big hemlock named Fern, Geoff Elliott points to an unwelcome Asian import: a little bug known as the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Small fuzzy white nymphs cling to the undersides of hemlock branches throughout the grove of trees. Both nymphs and adult adelgids can work quickly to destroy hemlocks 150 feet tall.

"This tree is believed to be somewhere between 200 and 300 years in age and can be taken out by the adelgid in as little as two to four years," says Mr. Elliott, a tour guide for Adventure West Virginia Resort LLC, which operates zip-line tours through the treetops. The company is trying to educate visitors about the dangers of the invasive insect as it diminishes the landscape the business relies on.

"Without any action we could lose the species," said Mark Whitmore, a forest entomologist at Cornell University. He described the hemlock as a "keystone species," because it provides shade that cools streams so fish can survive as well shelter for birds and animals. Losing it would be like "having all your front teeth fall out," he said.

As global trade has mounted, more goods are coming in from overseas, sometimes bringing with them the accidental cargo of destructive bugs and plants. An estimated 500 million plants are imported to the U.S. each year, and shipments through one plant inspection station doubled to 52,540 between 2004 and 2006, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, about 30 new invasive insects are discovered annually in the U.S., up sharply over the last decade, the USDA says.

The yearly economic impact of invasive species in the U.S. is estimated at $133.6 billion, according to a study in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review in 2006. That includes the cost of control and prevention such as pesticides, inspection programs at ports and damage to crops.

An estimated 50,000 plant, animal and insect species have been introduced into the U.S. throughout history. Many plants are initially introduced as food or ornamentals, while animals are occasionally introduced to control other pests. The English sparrow was brought over to control the canker worm on crops in 1853. But by 1900, it was considered a pest because it introduced diseases.

Among the most damaging are weeds that affect crops or destroy animal habitats. The Asian purple loosestrife, for example, was introduced as an ornamental plant in the early 19th century and now invades some 284,000 acres per year in the U.S., crowding out native plant species that help support duck, geese and muskrat.

More recently, invasive species can be directly traced to increased trade. The Asian longhorned beetle hitched a ride on shipping pallets to Brooklyn, N.Y. from China, while others like the zebra mussel have arrived in the Great Lakes in the ballast water of ships from Europe, having spread there from Russia.

Once invasive species take hold in regions where they have no natural predators, it is often impossible to eradicate them. The emerald ash borer, a shiny green beetle from Asia believed to have arrived on packing material, is attacking ash trees. In the northeast, the Asian longhorned beetle has killed thousands of maple trees and other species. [...]

Read more at link.


Invasive Species Multiply in U.S. Waterways

By Matthew Berger
Inter Press Service News Agency

WASHINGTON, Jan 4, 2010 (IPS) - As 2010, the U.N.'s International Year of Biodiversity, gets underway, a fight against some of the most damaging invasive species in U.S. waterways is heating up.

The U.N. says some experts put the rate at which species are disappearing at 1,000 times the natural rate, and invasive species – which consume the food or habitat of native species, or the native species themselves – are one factor contributing to this acceleration. Climate change is another major factor.

"Often it will be the combination of climate change and [invasive] pests operating together that will wipe species out," says Tim Low of the Australia-based Invasive Species Council.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature says that 38 percent of the 44,838 species catalogued on its Red List are "threatened with extinction" – and at least 40 percent of all animal extinctions for which the cause is known are the result of invasive species.

But just as invasives are not the only threat to biodiversity, the threat to biodiversity is not the only problem caused by the havoc – ecological as well as economic – wreaked by species that are transported to a foreign habitat, get a foothold there and spread, often voraciously.

The U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity says the spread of invasives costs 1.4 trillion dollars a year globally in damages and control measures. The U.S. alone loses 138 billion dollars a year in the fight.

The problem can be seen throughout U.S. waterways, from Asian clams in California's Lake Tahoe to snakehead fish in the East Coast's Potomac River. One of the most immediate threats – Asian carp – is currently on the doorstep of the Great Lakes ecosystem, where it could decimate a seven-billion-dollar fishing industry among other economic and ecological assets.

After being imported to the southeastern U.S. in the 1970s for use in containing aquatic plants, bighead and silver carp, collectively referred to as Asian carp, eventually escaped from fish farms there and made their way north via the Mississippi River. They have taken over stretches of adjoining waterways such as the Illinois River and evidence was found in November that the fish are within seven miles of Lake Michigan.

The concerns over what a carp infestation might mean for the Great Lakes' industries and environment are several-fold. Asian carp are voracious eaters, consuming 40 times their body weight in a day, and females can carry a million eggs and spawn multiple times in a season.

Silver carp, which can top out at 1.2 metres and 45 kilogrammes, jump far out of the water at the sound of a boat motor. They are generally unappealing to U.S. consumers as food fish due to the floating bones in their flesh.

The battle over how to protect the Great Lakes ecosystem – which accounts for 20 percent of the world's freshwater – has now made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Michigan and other Great Lakes states are suing the state of Illinois to temporarily shut canals in the Chicago area that connect the Mississippi River system to Lake Michigan, thus blocking the fish's path until a tenable solution is agreed.

The lakes have been hit before. Zebra mussels, for instance, have colonised the region's waters beginning in the late 1980s. Zebra and quagga mussels, both of which were most likely transported to the U.S. in the ballast water of trans-oceanic ships, have since spread across the country, clogging pipelines and water intakes at significant economic cost. [...]

The Role of Climate Change

Local species may become even more vulnerable to certain invaders as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt and habitats are disrupted by phenomena such as warmer temperatures and rising sea levels.

"We know invasive species can capitalise on these disturbances," says Scott Loarie, a co-author of a study in the current issue of the journal Nature which points out how fast species will have to migrate to keep pace with a changing climate. As ecosystems are transformed, "weedy-type species might be able to adapt and expand better than the original species," he says. [...]

A changing climate is likely to hit aquatic species quickest. A recent study by researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that lake surface temperatures in six Northern California and Nevada lakes are, on average, warming at twice the rate of the surrounding air.

One potential fallout of this trend is a more hospitable environment for invasive species, like the Asian clam that first appeared in California's Lake Tahoe at the beginning of this century but which is now prevalent enough that its waste has caused algae blooms in the lake's tourist-drawing crystal waters. [...]

Though climate change is only one factor in the spread of invasives, these intruders are generally given a leg up by the disruptions caused by a changing climate since they are typically very hardy species and adept at capitalising on opportunities to colonise areas. [...]

Read more at link.


Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan

The Draft Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan Request for Comments

We are soliciting comments on the draft Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan, by February 26, 2010.

The Lake Superior Binational Program recognizes that aquatic invasive species are one of the biggest threats to Lake Superior in terms of negative ecological and economic impacts. To address this critical threat, the Lake Superior Binational Program developed a draft Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan (Plan) for the lake. The Plan identifies the pathways aquatic invasive species use to enter and become established in the lake. Further, the Plan recommends prevention actions that need to be newly implemented, in addition to existing efforts, in order to close existing pathways on both sides of the border and prevent new aquatic invasive species from entering the Lake Superior ecosystem. The draft plan is available at: Lake Superior Aquatic Invasive Species Complete Prevention Plan (draft) [PDF 800 Kb 81 pages].

A series of conference calls will be scheduled for February 2010. On these calls, the plan will be presented via a webcast, and comments will be welcome. In addition, a series of workshops will be held in the spring and summer of 2010 to provide additional information and answer questions. Additional workshop details will be available in early 2010.

After the comment period closes on February 26, 2010, we will consider all comments, revise the Plan accordingly, and finalize.

You may submit any comments on the AIS Complete Prevention Plan by February 26, 2010 here.

Read more here.

If you have questions, you may contact:

Nancy Stadler-Salt ( or
Elizabeth LaPlante (


Asian Carp Will Soon Invade Store Shelves

by The Associated Press

Building off a state-developed marketing plan, a group of Louisiana-based companies has started a joint venture that will put Asian carp on retail shelves within weeks.

The fish are being marketed as silverfin, the name it was given in a marketing plan developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The agency is promoting recreational and commercial applications of an invasive fish that has caused huge problems for boaters in northern states.

Rather than poisoning the fish to get rid of them like northern states have done, wildlife officials are opting to make them an appetizing meal.

Chef Philippe Parola of Baton Rouge, CEO of Chef Parola Enterprises and Partran, kick-started the campaign in the fall, and it's finally coming together in the New Year. [...]

Read more at link.


Mitten crabs on the menu?

crabMitten crabs are invading UK rivers and may be commercially harvested to control numbers reports the Independent (UK). This foreign species of crustacean is native to China where it is highly prized as a delicacy, especially the roe of the mitten crab. Diners in China, Japan and Singapore will pay the equivalent of £24 [about $39 USD] for a mitten crab in good condition.

In the UK, this aggressive species has spread up the Thames and is now populating other rivers and waterways where it causes damage to the banks and the natural ecosystem. “It is a huge pest problem,” says Paul Clark, a marine biologist at the Natural History Museum. “It burrows into river banks and causes them to collapse, and is very damaging to native wildlife.” Mitten crabs in the Thames are now reaching such numbers that they may block water intake pipes of power stations and other industrial facilities.

Dr Clark has suggested that the solution to the problem may be simpler than first thought – eat them. He is proposing a conference in London in March to explore the possibility of commercially harvesting the crabs from the Thames. A recent study found that the crabs are fit for human consumption and are found in such numbers that exploitation would be viable.

“Mitten crabs have few natural enemies capable of reducing their numbers, but the establishment of a fishery would certainly carry risks.” Said Dr Clark.

Read more….

Courtesy of Back to the Planet.


Asian carp plea denied

Lyle Denniston | Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 10:10 am

The Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to order emergency measures sought by the state of Michigan to stop the migration of an invasive fish species, Asian carp, toward Lake Michigan from rivers and a sanitary canal in Illinois. Without comment, the Court refused to issue a permanent injunction that would have closed waterway locks and required other temporary measures in reaction to the discovery of the carp upstream in Illinois rivers. The Court’s order did not dispose of Michigan’s plea to reopen a decades-old decree to address the carp migration issue on its merits. That will come later in cases 1, 2 and 3 Original, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York v. Illinois.



NJ Conservation Foundation Applauds New Forest Stewardship Law

By New Jersey Conservation Foundation

New Jersey Conservation Foundation applauds the state Legislature and former Gov. Jon Corzine for passing a landmark bill that provides incentives for private landowners to improve the health of New Jersey forests.

The Forest Stewardship Act was passed by the Senate and Assembly on Jan. 11 and signed into law by Gov. Corzine during his last full day in office, Monday, Jan. 18.

The new law allows landowners with at least five acres to be eligible for reduced property tax assessments by actively managing their woodlands to promote forest health and sustainability.

Previously, the same woodland owners participating in the farmland assessment program were subject to an income requirement, which forced landowners to cut their trees for timber and firewood. The practice was not sustainable and resulted in a major loss of forest productivity and biodiversity. [...]

Stewardship activities can include: removing invasive plants, restoring endangered species habitat, fencing property to encourage regeneration and prevent deer damage, and resolving problems caused by erosion, disease and pests.

The new law directs the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish a forest stewardship program for owners of forested land who prepare stewardship plans for five acres of land or more. Under the bill, plans would be required to meet the rules and regulations of sustainability, list the owner’s long term stewardship goals for the forest land and the annual activities that will be implemented in the forest.

The law also directs the DEP to:

* Establish a cost share incentive program, "New Jersey Forest Stewardship Incentive Program," if funds are appropriated or otherwise made available for the support and funding of such a program, the DEP would award grants to local government units, non-profit organizations, and private owners of forest land to help subsidize their costs in implementing stewardship activities.
* Create a forest stewardship advisory council
* Prepare a report every seven years based on these forest sustainability criteria and indicators, with the first report required by February 1st of the third year following the date of enactment.

Special thanks are due to the bill sponsors: Senators Bob Smith, Jeff Van Drew, John Adler, Robert Gordon, Andrew Ciesla, Christopher "Kip" Bateman and Robert Singer and Assemblyman John McKeon. For more information on the Forest Stewardship Bill, contact New Jersey Conservation Foundation at or 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

New Jersey Conservation Foundation preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, the Foundation has protected more than 120,000 acres and has been an advocate for strong land use policies. For more information, visit

Read more at link.


Yellowstone Exotic Plant Management Team jobs now being advertised

Yellowstone National Park jobs are out on the street. The Craters of the Moon NP jobs have been out for awhile, as have the Glacier NP jobs. The Northern Rocky Mountains EPMT stations 3 people at each of 3 parks - Yellowstone, Glacier and Craters of the Moon in Idaho. Seasonal jobs are usually filled from late April
through mid to late September.

The job announcements are:
Yellowstone: YL306142 for GS 4-7 closes Jan 29 (may be extended, depending
on how many applicants we get)
Glacier: GL308321 closes Jan 22
Craters: PWRO-2010-01 closes Jan 25

Please pass this on to those who might be looking for a western adventure
this summer.


Sue Salmons
Liaison - Exotic Plant Management Team
Northern Rocky Mountains
PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
307- 344- 2185


Carp DNA Is Found in Lake Michigan

New York Times
Published: January 19, 2010

CHICAGO — Genetic material from the Asian carp, a voracious invasive species long feared to be nearing the Great Lakes, has been identified for the first time at a harbor within Lake Michigan, near the Illinois-Indiana border, ecologists and federal officials said Tuesday.

A second DNA match was found in a river in Illinois within a half-mile of the lake, according to scientists at the University of Notre Dame who tested water samples and provided the results to officials last week.

Experts said the most recent findings, from Calumet Harbor and the Calumet River, could mean that the carp has found its way beyond an elaborate barrier system built at the cost of millions of dollars to prevent the fish’s access to the Great Lakes and its delicate ecosystem, where it has no natural competitors and would threaten the life of native fish populations.

“It’s a big admission of failure,” said Henry Henderson, the director of the Midwest program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It indicates the kind of thing we’ve been fearing since 1993.”

Government officials were careful to underscore that they had not found any fish — dead or alive — despite much effort, and that the Asian carp’s DNA could have arrived in Lake Michigan by various means other than the fish’s swimming from river basins it has already overtaken farther south.

Read more at link.


Salazar Moves to Ban Importation and Interstate Transfer of Burmese Python and Eight Other Giant Invasive Snakes

FWS to Propose Injurious Species Listing under Lacey Act

NEW YORK, NY – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose to list the Burmese python and eight other large constrictor snakes that threaten the Everglades and other sensitive ecosystems as “injurious wildlife” under the Lacey Act.

Salazar made the announcement at the Port of New York, which serves as the largest point of entry in the nation for imports of wildlife and wildlife products. Last year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport handled more than 27, 000 separate wildlife shipments valued at more than $1 billion, or 16 percent of all U.S. wildlife imports.

The proposal, which will be open to public comment before Salazar makes a final decision, would prohibit importation and interstate transportation of the animals.

“The Burmese python and these other alien snakes are destroying some of our nation’s most treasured – and most fragile – ecosystems,” Salazar said. “The Interior Department and states such as Florida are taking swift and common sense action to control and eliminate the populations of these snakes, but it is an uphill battle in ecosystems where they have no natural predators. If we are going to succeed, we must shut down the importation of the snakes and end the interstate commerce and transportation of them.”

In total, wildlife inspectors stationed at ports across the nation processed more than 169,700 shipments of wildlife and wildlife products last year with an estimated value of $2.7 billion.

“Our wildlife inspectors are the front line of defense for the nation, combating illegal wildlife trafficking and preventing the importation of countless species of illegal injurious wildlife. This proposal will give them an additional tool to restrict imports that are causing significant ecological and economic damage, while giving our law enforcement agents the ability to restrict the spread of these species within our borders,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Sam Hamilton.

The nine species proposed for listing are: the Burmese python, northern African python, southern African python, reticulated python, green anaconda, yellow anaconda, Beni or Bolivian anaconda, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, and boa constrictor. [...]

Read more at link.

Vanessa Kauffman (FWS) (703) 358-2138
Kendra Barkoff (DOI) (202) 713-0827


Coconut palms bring ecological change to tropics, Stanford researchers say

Those graceful coconut palms swaying in tropical breezes are lowering nutrient levels in the soils and the plants around them, thereby altering the eating habits of animals. Researchers say it’s one example of how a change in a plant community can disrupt an entire ecosystem.

Stanford Report, January 20, 2010

Coconut palms, the epitome of South Seas tranquility, turn out to be doing more than just soothing vacationers and inspiring aloha shirts. As they continue to spread to new areas, they are also changing the very landscapes they grace, according to Stanford researchers. Seabirds are shunning the palms as nesting sites, favoring other tree species instead, sending a ripple through island ecosystems.

With the birds has gone the rich cargo of guano that they normally dispense so freely to the earth under their abodes. The absence of that precious input has caused the soil around the palms to become nutritionally deficient.

That, in turn, is lowering the nutritional content of plant species growing around the palms and is causing the creatures that feed on those plants, such as crabs and grasshoppers, to forage elsewhere.

"We found that you can get a five- to twelvefold decline in important soil nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate when coconut palms are present, mainly because the birds aren't there depositing nutrients to that system," said Hillary Young, a doctoral candidate in biology and member of the research team that conducted a study on Palmyra Atoll in the South Pacific. Palmyra lies roughly midway between Hawaii and Tahiti. [...]

Just how long the palms have been growing on Palmyra, or how they arrived, isn't clear. Most researchers agree that coconut palms originated in Asia. Coconuts can travel long distances by floating on the ocean currents, but the palm was probably introduced in much of its current range, including areas like Hawaii and the Americas, by early human travelers a few thousand years ago. [...]

Read more at link.


Updates on ALB, EAB & Sirex Woodwasp

APHIS scientists have studied survival of emerald ash borer (EAB) larvae in firewood that has been heat treated. The conclusion: EAB larvae and prepupae survive HT at various temperatures and time intervals. A minimal safe treatment for firewood would require internal wood temperature of 60 degrees C for 60 minutes. The current requirement for firewood is internal temperature of 71 degrees C for 75 minutes. The article does not discuss the implications of this finding for imports of wood packaging, which (per ISPM#15) must be heated only to 56 degrees C for 30 minutes. (I have the full article if you wish to see it.)

USFS scientists are testing a trap for Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) that uses a lure comprised of chemicals emitted by male beetles and volatiles emitted by host plants. Initial tests were carried out in China; last summer the traps were tested at the large ALB infestation in Worcester, MA. The MA traps caught 9 females – compared to 29 adult ALB found by surveyors or residents. The catches in Dodge Park steered officials to 2 trees previously not known to be infested. Further surveys of trees near the traps are under way to assess the traps’ efficacy. Good news! Not that long ago, scientists thought Cerambycids did not communicate by chemicals – which made developing monitoring tools very difficult.

APHIS still has not developed a regulatory program to slow spread of the Sirex woodwasp from its current locations (NY, northern PA, corners of MI, OH, & VT; and Ontario) to the pine-rich woodlands of the Southeast and West. One reason is stakeholders’ failure – so far – to persuade Congress to provide adequate funding. If managers of pine forests and plantations are counting on the nematode which has been used as a biocontrol agent in plantations in the Southern Hemisphere (nematode Beddingia (=Deladenus) siricidicola). At a recent meeting, several scientists from the southern hemisphere described the complexities of trying to manage the nematode and get good rates of infestation of the woodwasp. Complexities include:

• Biocontrol program must be coordinated with active silvicultural management of the pine stands – failing to thin at proper time increases vulnerability.

• Mortality of trees used to introduce the nematode into the system - due to drought or attacks by other insects - undermines efforts to deploy biocontrol nematode and can reduce infection rate to ineffective levels.

• Difficulties of detecting leading edge of infestation – aerial surveys don’t pick up fast enough.

• Care needed in raising nematodes – must have proper strain of nematode, proper strain of fungus on which being raised.

• Care needed in techniques for inoculation of trees.

• Competition from bluestain fungi (quite common in North America) might suppress the Amylosterium fungus on which both the nematodes and the wasps feed.

• Might need to use different fungal strains depending on whether your pine stand is in a summer v. winter rainfall area.

• Strong/large woodwasps (that have not been infected by the nematode) still fly significant distance from “birth” tree – in Patagonia, the nematode has not slowed spread of the woodwasp.

• Contrary to previous understanding, North American native woodwasps and the introduced Sirex noctillio do not always utilize different species of Amylosterium fungi – so that cannot be relied upon to ensure that the introduced nematode does no harm to native woodwasp populations.

Sent by Faith Campbell


New report: Report on Aquatic Nuisance Control Activities in Vermont


Monday, January 11, 2010

Week of January 11, 2010

Updated 1/15. New articles are at the bottom of this week's blog.

New Hampshire Lakes launches a new exotic weed control grant program

Thanks to Senator Judd Gregg, NH LAKES has secured federal funding to help lake associations and municipalities manage their exotic infestations in 2010. Matching grant awards of up to $5,000 will be available to assist local groups in their efforts to purchase or construct Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting systems, hire Certified Weed Control divers to harvest infestations, and implement other forms of non-chemical control.

For more information and to download a grant application, visit our website, email, or call (603) 226-0299. Grant applications will be due in mid-February.


Reptile restrictions to be voted on by Senate

by Laura Mandanas
Reporter Online

“All those snakes except for a boa constrictor can get huge. I mean ... an anaconda can get 20-30 feet. A Burmese python [subspecies of the Indian python] can get 20 feet. A rock python can get 20 feet. A reticulated python can get like 30-35 feet. For all that stuff, we wouldn't sell it to begin with. But now that the state's banned it, it means you can't sell it,” says Scott Oechsle, owner of Captive Life Forms in Spencerport. Together with his father, Gary, “The Reptile Guys” do live shows and sell reptiles to the greater Rochester and western New York area. Oechsle continues, “Banning the importation of those bigger ones aren't a big deal ... Stuff like that, your general public shouldn't have.”

The snakes Oechsle is talking about are those included in U.S. Senate Bill S. 373, a piece of legislation that would ban importation and interstate commerce of certain species of snakes. These species are:

* Indian Python (Python molurus)
* African Rock Python (Python sebae)
* Southern African Python (Python natalensis)
* Reticulated Python (Python/Broghammerus reticulatus)
* Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)
* Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
* Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)
* Beni or Bolivian Anaconda (Eunectes beniensis)
* DeSchauensee’s Anaconda (Eunectes deschauenseei)

In New York, most of these snakes have already been banned by the state for some time; boa constrictors are the only species listed that are traded regularly in New York state, according to Oechsle. On a national level, however, there are no such restrictions in place. With many owning the giant snakes as pets, a good number of reptile enthusiasts are putting up a fight.

Behind the Bill

Introduced by Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, S. 373 is a bill intended to protect the Florida Everglades, which have been invaded by non-native Burmese pythons. In the subtropical climate, these pythons have found ample prey, including animals appearing on endangered species watch lists. Before a Congressional committee, Nelson testified that it is necessary to specifically include these snakes in the prohibitions listed in the Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate or foreign trade of any fish, wildlife or plant in violation of any law, treaty or regulation of the United States or of any Indian tribal law, in order to reduce the number of pythons released into the wild by pet owners who don't understand what caring for a python really entails.

Read the full story at link.


Adirondack Invasive Species Steward Job

The Nature Conservancy is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in all 50 states and more than 33 countries. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

This Stewardship position provides hands-on exposure to all aspects of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s invasive species prevention and management work throughout the Adirondack region.

Lead Projects: The lead projects will focus on invasive species surveys and management within the Adirondack region. Working with the APIPP Terrestrial and Aquatic Invasive Species Project Coordinators and conservation partners, the steward will be involved in surveying, management, and public outreach on a variety of projects throughout the region. Half the amount of time will be spent assisting the Terrestrial Coordinator with early detection and control of terrestrial invasive plant infestations, and the other half of time will be spent assisting the Aquatic Coordinator with aquatic plant surveys and management at priority sites.

a) Surveying: Directly assist with early detection surveys throughout the Adirondack region within NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Preserve lands and waters, NYS Department of Transportation Right-of-Ways, wetlands and private lands. Validate, document and measure new infestations via hand-held GPS unit, survey forms and photo-documentation.

b) Management: Directly assist with implementing best management practices to contain, suppress and eradicate terrestrial invasive plant infestations. Duties to include manual management, release of biocontrols and preparatory work for approved herbicidal controls. Assist with the secure containment and disposal of gleaned invasive plant materials. Assistance with aquatic invasive plant management efforts may include providing topside assistance with SCUBA hand-harvesting efforts.

c) Public Outreach: Through daily course of work provide public outreach at invasive species worksites and at prescribed events throughout the Adirondack region, e.g., Invasive Species Awareness Week, and as special opportunities arise.

General: The steward will work closely with APIPP staff and principal partners and will report directly to the Terrestrial and Aquatic Project Coordinators. In addition to the listed duties, there will be vehicle, tools and equipment maintenance and other work as needed as summer work priorities evolve, and as the steward’s interests dictate. Work will be primarily in the field in all sorts of weather, sometimes in remote locations with rugged terrain. The steward is expected to work independently as well as with APIPP partners and the public.

-College Sophomore and 6 months of related experience (can be a combination of past job experience, academic work, volunteer work, etc)
-Experience using MS office, Word and Excel, and navigating the Internet

This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.

Desired Qualifications
-Demonstrated interest in conservation issues
-Strong science background; coursework in botany, terrestrial ecology and basic aquatic ecology
-Well-organized and flexible
-Motivated self-starter, able to work independently with minimal direction
-Enjoys working outdoors, sometimes in adverse weather conditions
-Comfortable handling a canoe
-Good written and oral communication skills
-Basic working knowledge of safe operation of hand and power tools
-Comfortable driving a large 4-wheel drive pickup truck
-Ability to utilize GPS

Dates and Compensation
-May 17-September 17, 2010, 18 weeks total; flexible depending on the availability of the successful candidate
-$11/hour, plus mileage reimbursement if steward uses his/her own vehicle for work-related travel (no reimbursement for daily commute to office)

-Housing is not provided


Application deadline: March 17, 2010

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Invasives on Adirondack Park Agency agenda

RAY BROOK, NY - The state Adirondack Park Agency will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday, January 14, at its headquarters. The State Land Committee will meet at 3 p.m., and receive an update on the inter-agency guidelines for invasive species management on state land. The meeting will be webcast live at


Obama administration's stand on carp criticized

By Dan Egan of the Journal Sentinel

President Barack Obama staked his claim as the Great Lakes president during the heat of the 2008 campaign when he pledged to pump billions of dollars into a restoration plan for the lakes while at the same time champion a "zero tolerance" policy for new invasive species.

That "zero" is starting to look like a political bull's-eye for conservationists and regional politicians critical of the Obama administration's decision Tuesday to oppose efforts by a coalition of five Great Lakes states to force Illinois and the Army Corps of Engineers to do more to protect Lake Michigan from what many fear is an imminent invasion of the jumbo carp that could ravage the Great Lakes' $7 billion fishery.

"It is inexcusable that the administration has decided to side with their political allies in the state of Illinois to protect the narrow interests of their state, while the rest of the Great Lakes region and federal taxpayers will be forced to deal with the carp entering the lakes," said Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-Mich.).

Conservationists who weeks ago were aglow over Obama's billion-dollar plan for the Great Lakes were in a different mood Wednesday. They said it all might mean money down the drain if the administration doesn't recognize the threat carp pose to the lakes and take - or at least not oppose - action to close some navigational locks considered the last thing standing between the carp and Lake Michigan.

"The Obama administration has miscalculated the threat Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes," said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center. "Without immediate action, an invasion of Asian carp will unravel many of the president's Great Lakes initiatives."

Read the full story at link.


Register today for the 2010 Aquatic Weed Control Short Course!

Earn up to 20 CEUs!

May 3-6, 2010
Coral Springs Marriott
Coral Springs, Florida

Mark your calendar and plan to take part in the 2010 Aquatic Weed Short Course to be held May 3-6, 2010 at the Coral Springs Marriott Hotel, Golf Club, and Convention Center in Coral Springs, FL.

The short course is designed to benefit those new to the industry and experienced professionals seeking a comprehensive update. Topics include:

• General Standards (CORE) Training
• Pesticide Application Equipment Calibration Training
• Plant Identification
• Aquatic Pest Control Category Training
• Natural Areas Weed Management Training
• Right-of-Way Weed Management Training
Register Online Today!
Registration is now available for the 2010 Aquatic Weed Control Short Course. Be sure that your organization is budgeted to attend this valuable training.

Early Reduced Registration Fee
(By February 26, 2010) $235.00
Regular Registration Fee
(By April 12, 2010) $285.00
Late Registration Fee
(After April 12, 2010) $335.00
Student Registration Fee

CLICK HERE to register today!

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


NC group urges fight against pest plants

The Associated Press

A North Carolina group watching the spread of environment-changing foreign plants wants to declare war on the invaders.

For a week beginning Sunday, the North Carolina Exotic Plant Pest Council wants people to focus on invasive species.

Plant Pest Council President Rick Iverson says kudzu is probably the invasive plant that most people know best, but it's so widespread that it can't be stopped.

Iverson says it's time to look out for the next kudzu and stop it from spreading before it becomes a serious problem. The group says early detection gives eradication measures better chances for success.

The Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council has information on invasive plants, what they look like and the problems they create on its Web site.


On the Net:

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council:

Read the story at link.


Insect pests outlast frigid weather in mountains

ASHEVILLE, NC — January's deep freeze won't put much of a dent in pest populations come spring. Ticks, chiggers, fleas and even fire ants spreading from the south will still come out to bite, specialists say.

It also won't have much of an effect on foreign invasive pests such as the disastrous hemlock woolly adelgid and that old Southern staple: pine beetles.

“Insects that we have here are adapted to surviving our winters,” said Linda Blue, an agent with the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension Service. “Yes, it's much colder than we've been used to, but nothing out of our range. We're rated for as low as 10 below.”

Asheville posted five consecutive days from Jan. 2 through Wednesday when highs stayed below 30 degrees, but that's still short of the record of eight consecutive days below freezing set in December 1995, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Insects survive the winter by burrowing deep underground where temperatures remain steady.

Even fire ants, an invasive species that have spread up from Alabama into North Carolina, then west into the mountains, are largely immune to routine cold, explained Steve Bambara, an extension entomologist with N.C. State University.

Studies suggest that several weeks with temperatures reaching 10 below could put a halt to fire ant colonies, which have steadily marched into most North Carolina counties from more tropical climates. “But we don't see that much,” Bambara said. “Where we started having outdoor ice skating, then that would probably kill some ants.”

Read the full story at link.


FLEPPC’s Kathy Craddock Burks Education Grant


Program Description and Eligibility

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council is soliciting grant proposals for non-native invasive plant education and outreach projects in Florida. The intent of these grants is to provide funding to organizations or individuals who will educate Floridians about non-native invasive plants and their influences on the environment and economy of Florida. Proposals will be accepted from individuals, public or private nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions.

Evaluation Criteria

Award preference will be given to proposals that meet the following criteria:
• Involve plants listed as Category-I species on the FLEPPC 2009 List of Invasive Plant Species, found on (projects involving Category-II species will also be considered);
• Include an educational message that will reach a large segment of the community;
• Heighten community awareness about non-native invasive plant identification, management, prevention, environmental and/or economic impacts;
• Involve an active component (passive programs such as signs, brochures or websites should be enhanced to promote an event or an action involving the target audience);
• Include an evaluation of project success;
• Demonstrate matching funds or in-kind contributions;
• Include partnerships (please specify type and degree of involvement for partner entities);
• Include a detailed timeline of grant activities.
• First time applicants and new/startup projects will be given preference, although repeat applicants and established programs will be considered.

Application instructions and further information may be found on the FLEPPC website ( Grants may not be used to fund food or beverages, capital expense items (sprayers, chain saws, machinery, herbicide), overhead costs (e.g., electricity) or large-scale herbicide application activities. Requests for funding should not exceed $1,000.00 and all funds awarded are to be used within one year of receipt. If full funding is not available, partial funding may be awarded. Applicant/organization must present a summary of results at the FLEPPC annual meeting (poster or presentation) or provide a summary article for possible inclusion in Wildland Weeds magazine. The FLEPPC Education Grant Committee reserves the right to review all publications resulting from its funding (prior to printing or distribution) for accuracy.

The deadline for proposal submission is 5PM on February 1, 2010.

The FLEPPC Education Committee will review all applications. Winners will be announced in April 2010 at FLEPPC’s annual conference, held this year in Crystal River, FL.

For further information, contact:
Jennifer Possley
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Phone: 305-667-1651, ext. 3433
Fax: 305-665-8032


USDA announces additional funding to control the Asian Longhorned Beetle in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2010 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $41.5 million in emergency funding to prevent the spread of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in Massachusetts.

"The USDA, along with our key partners in Massachusetts, has worked hard to contain and the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest that has the potential to devastate our forests and backyard trees," Vilsack said. "These additional funds will allow for a more aggressive approach to ensure ALB does not spread to other areas in New England."

The emergency funding will be used in Massachusetts to increase tree surveys in order to determine the extent of the infestation, expand the use of treatments to reduce the beetle population and ensure the timely removal of infested trees.

"I have been to Massachusetts, seen the impact of ALB on communities and spoken to lawmakers and residents directly affected because I wanted to hear the concerns of many partners working with us in this effort," Vilsack added. "With this funding, USDA reinforces our shared goal of stopping this destructive pest and protecting valued resources."

Read the full story at link.


Phragmites partners with microbes to plot native plants' demise

ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2009) — University of Delaware researchers have uncovered a novel means of conquest employed by the common reed, Phragmites australis, which ranks as one of the world's most invasive plants.

phragThe invasive strain, which hails from Eurasia, overtakes its "native" cousin, which has lived in North America for the past 10,000 years, ironically by provoking the native plant to "take itself out," through a combination of microbial and enzymatic activity in the soil.

The research by an interdisciplinary UD team led by Harsh Bais, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, is reported in the December issue of the scientific journal Plant Physiology and also is highlighted in one of the journal's editorials.

Bais's co-authors include postdoctoral researchers Gurdeep Bains and Amutha Sampath Kumar in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Thimmaraju Rudrappa, a former UD postdoctoral researcher who is now a research scientist at DuPont; Emily Alff, an undergraduate who became involved in the study through a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship; and Thomas Hanson, associate professor of marine biosciences in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

In previous research, a team led by Bais determined that Phragmites employs a strategy known as allelopathy, in which plants release toxic chemicals into the soil to deter other plants from growing close to them.

In soil studies at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, a premier center for life sciences research at UD, the scientists discovered that invasive Phragmites produces elevated levels of a benign compound, a precursor of gallic acid known as gallotannin, relative to its native cousin.

However, when this gallotannin, a polymeric phenol, is attacked by tannase produced through enzymatic activity by native plants and rhizospheric microbes, toxic gallic acid is produced and released in the root zone, exacerbating the invasive Phragmites' noxiousness.

"The tannins are like partners in crime in the process," Bais said.

He noted that Hanson and Kumar collected microbes present on the root surface of the plants and revealed that the "bugs" cleave the polymer (gallotannin) to release the monomer (gallic acid) because the microbes are using the tannins as a carbon source.

"It's like a two-way highway," Bais said, "the plant is working with bacteria to secrete gallic acid into the soil."

Bais says that the microbial population is the same in the native versus the invasive Phragmites. The invasive variety simply secretes more gallotannins into the soil than its native cousin, putting the native plant at a disadvantage in turf battles between the two strains.

Phragmites has overtaken millions of acres of wetlands in the United States, thanks to the aggressive, invasive strain of the plant that came on the scene some 200 years ago from Eurasia.

The exotic species has displaced the non-aggressive native variety of the plant, relegating the native strain to isolated patches and wetland margins along the Atlantic coast.

"Now we have a way to remedy the sick soil," Bais said. "After years of research, we have identified a mechanism that may lead to a solution to the Phragmites invasion."

The research was supported by the University of Delaware Research Foundation (UDRF). Gurdeep Bains's involvement in the study was made possibly by a BOYSCAST Fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology, India.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Delaware. Original article written by Tracey Bryant.

University of Delaware (2009, December 28). Phragmites partners with microbes to plot native plants' demise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 12, 2010, from­ /releases/2009/12/091223125135.htm

Photo above: Members of the UD research team with Phragmites plants are, from left, Emily Alff, undergraduate researcher; Prof. Harsh Bais, who led the study; Amutha Sampath Kumar, postdoctoral researcher; and Prof. Thomas Hanson. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Delaware)


Old technology coming out of the closet

Jan 12, 2010 10:51 AM, By Elton Robinson, Farm Press Editorial Staff

It’s almost like weed control has been transported back to the 1980s, what with all the cold steel, post-directed rigs, hooded sprayers and residual herbicides becoming more prominent in the arsenal.

As glyphosate-resistant weeds continue to march across the Mid-South, many farmers are being forced to pull old weed control technology out of the grass patch.

For some, it’s almost like weed control has been transported back to the 1980s, what with all the cold steel, post-directed rigs, hooded sprayers and residual herbicides becoming more prominent in the arsenal.

And weed control costs are rising, too, as well as a critical importance on application timing, both of which came into focus during the weird growing season of 2009, when wet weather prevented so many timely applications.

A resistant pigweed problem got so bad for Gunnison, Miss., producer Kenneth Hood this season that he had to plow under some soybean acres infested with it “after I threw everything I could at them and couldn’t control them.

“It’s unbelievable how thick they have become since my last disking. If that is any indication of what I’ve got to fight next year, I hate to think.”

Cold steel is not the only old technology pulled out of the closet the last two years, Hood says. “We’ve hand-weeded and spot-sprayed weeds by hand. We never stopped our post-directed applications. We just went out and tried to control those spots in the field where resistant weeds escaped our traditional applications.”

Hood estimates that the additional trips and labor has increased his cost of production by about $30 an acre, “and we’ve hurt yields and quality as well. Weeds will choke up cotton pickers and combines, and hurt the quality of your crops. Resistance is a broader spectrum problem than we think about.”

Weeds in the Mid-South with documented glyphosate resistance include johnsongrass, horseweed, common ragweed, Palmer amaranth (pigweed) and Italian ryegrass.

Read the full story at link.


Researchers learn why invasive plants spreading so rapidly in forests

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. -- Invasive plants are advancing into Eastern forests at an alarming rate, and the rapid spread has been linked by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to forest road maintenance and the type of dirt and stone used on roads.

Perhaps predictably, according to David Mortensen, a professor of weed ecology who has been studying the spread of invasive plants for nearly two decades, humans are unwittingly accelerating the relentless march of invasives into even isolated forests. The findings are especially significant in the face of massive forest road-building efforts expected to support greatly expanded natural-gas drilling operations into the Marcellus shale formation. Hundreds or even thousands of gas wells could be established in Eastern forests in the next few years, depending on the market price of gas.

Forest roads facilitate the spread of invasive plants

In a paper titled "Forest Roads Facilitate the Spread of Invasive Plants," published in the August 2009 issue of Invasive Plant Science and Management, Mortensen detailed some eye-opening revelations about the process by which invasive plants advance so quickly.

"Roads can play a profound role in the spread and growth of invasive species by serving as corridors for movement and by providing prime habitat for establishment," Mortensen explained. "For example, forest managers have reported that the borders of hundreds of miles of forest roads have been invaded by Japanese stiltgrass in a period of less than 10 years."

As part of his research, Mortensen -- who was assisted by post-doctoral researcher Emily Rauschert and doctoral candidate Andrea Nord -- performed a large-scale survey of the presence and abundance of 13 invasive plants and found that the most abundant species, Microstegium (Japanese stiltgrass) is strongly associated with proximity to roads. He then focused his attention on trying to determine the reasons and devise a strategy to slow the spread.

The researchers discovered, to their amazement, that Japanese stiltgrass on its own does not spread quickly. To better understand why the invasive plant is achieving such a high rate of spread in Eastern forests, they deliberately introduced Microstegium patches in a forested site similar to the one in which the survey was conducted and allowed patches to naturally expand over four years before controlling all patches.

"Through this multi-year study, we found the natural spread rate was surprisingly slow, several orders of magnitude slower than that observed by the forest managers we work with," Mortensen said. "We also found that spread was greatest in habitats adjacent to forest roads.

"It is clear that the rates of spread occurring in forests throughout the study region are aided by management practices such as road grading, which is employed frequently to maintain the dirt and gravel roads."

Japanese stiltgrass seed becomes mixed with the dirt and gravel and then is carried along as graders push the crushed stone to fill holes and smooth road surfaces. Mortensen also suspects invasive plant seeds may be picked up and transported by equipment, so he suggests spread could be limited by carefully cleaning the undersides of construction vehicles and other machines before they travel from one road job to another.

Management suggestions

"Management of this troublesome invasive can be enhanced with a multifaceted, integrated approach," he said. "Particular attention should be paid to infestations that serve as sources for seed dispersal into uninvaded or environmentally sensitive areas. The primary vectors of long-distance dispersal, such as road maintenance activities or vehicle traffic, should be identified and mitigating steps taken. Finally, it is important to minimize road-edge disturbance to the extent possible, as such disturbance provides an ideal seedbed for the newly dispersed Microstegium seed."

Perhaps the most startling finding of Mortensen's research relates to the nature of dirt and gravel on forest roads that enables invasive plants such as Japanese stiltgrass to thrive.

"The crushed limestone used to surface many forest roads and to line culverts and drains along those roads are creating ideal conditions for the invasives to spread rapidly," he said. "The high alkalinity sediment from the stone, mixed with water running off the roads during storms, eventually spills out into the forests, carrying invasive plant seeds and creating areas for them to grow quickly. The high alkalinity prevents native plants that have become adapted to acidic forest soils from growing, and invasives such as Japanese stiltgrass fill the void."

Ironically, the crushed limestone is being used on many forest roads and in ditches and drains that parallel mountain streams precisely because the material leaches a high-alkalinity slurry that improves the productivity and water chemistry of the streams. That benefits the wild trout and other aquatic organisms that have suffered in many mountain streams after decades of acidic atmospheric deposition (acid rain).

"That only complicates the battle against the spread of invasive plants into Eastern forests and shows the interconnected nature of ecosystems," Mortensen said. "But measures need to be taken to slow the spread of invasive plants such as Microstegium, because over the long run they will change the nature of our plant communities by outcompeting native plants."

Read the story at link.


PEST ALERT: Chinese creeper or bittervine, Mikania micrantha, an invasive vine new to the continental United States

Mikania micrantha Kunth, a vine in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family, was recently detected in Miami-Dade County by Keith Bradley of the Institute for Regional Conservation. Through further surveys, additional patches have been found, all within a 5.5 mi. swath through the Redlands area of Homestead. The populations have mostly been found in disturbed areas such as roadsides and woodlots, but at least one nursery is infested, as is one residential landscape. Most of the infestations are small, but a larger one, 100 ft. square, has been seen as well. This plant has not previously been reported to be established in the continental United States, although it is native in Puerto Rico (Liogier, 1997). It is a serious agricultural and environmental weed, particularly in the Old World tropics, and is included on the Noxious Weed Lists of the USDA and several states, including Florida.

Read the Pest Alert at link.


Shipping map tracks invasive species stowaways

Written by Megan Treacy on 13/01/10

Invasive species can have catastrophic effects on an ecosystem. From algae to jellyfish, ports around the world are faced with a problem, but first, it's necessary to understand how the problem got there.

shippingResearchers at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany set out to crack the case of marine invasive species. Where are they coming from and how did they get there? They knew that many small species hitch a ride in the ballast water of cargo ships, so they plotted the course of 16,363 ships during 2007 to look for connections.

Before now, it was assumed that invasive species were more likely coming from nearby ports, but researchers discovered that wasn't the case.

They found that container ships follow regular routes, but oil tankers and dry bulk carriers often change routes. Container ships tend to travel quickly and don't spend long at port. On the other hand, oil tankers and dry bulk carriers travel more slowly, spend more time at port and exchange ballast water more often due to the fact that they spend a lot of time traveling without cargo, making them important to watch.

From their analysis they were able to find the world's most connected ports which would be the most prone to the introduction of invasive species. They compiled a list of 20 with the top five being the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, Shanghai, Singapore and Antwerp.

Hopefully this new data will help affected ports monitor these stowaways and come up with an environmentally responsible plan. As is the case with all informational maps, they add to our understanding of a problem, which usually helps create a solution.

Read the story at link.

via AFP.


New York students improving Treasure Coast environment

HOBE SOUND, FL — Fourteen students from a New York college are spending the last week of their winter break on the Treasure Coast [Florida].

But instead of volleyballs, sunscreen and bottles ofbeer, they’re wielding pruning saws, loppers and bottles of herbicide.

Throughout this week, the students from Purchase College, a part of the State University of New York in Purchase, N.Y., are helping eradicate invasive plant species on public lands. Tuesday morning they were cutting Brazilian pepper shrubs and dosing the stumps in Blowing Rocks Preserve, a 73-acre natural area owned by the Nature Conservancy. They’ll also work at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound and at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park in St. Lucie County.

“I like giving back to the community,” said Evan Gmora, a 21-year-old senior from Islip, N.Y., “even if it’s not my own community.”

Mike Renda, a biologist at the preserve showing the students the how-tos of invasive eradication, called the students “the kind of people who will always be involved with helping their communities. That’s something that will stick with them all their lives. If it wasn’t for these kids, we’d probably have to contract out this work, so they’re saving (the preserve) a lot of money.”

The students’ visit coincides with National Invasive Plants Week, an effort not only to strip land of invasives, but to spread the word to private landowners that they need to do their part, too.

Read the full story at link.


2010 Invasive Plant Calendar

The Alien Plant Working Group has a printable 2010 Calendar and links to online calendars with invasive species conferences, workshops and other events.


Supreme Court To Hear Asian Carp Debate

posted by: Michigan News Network on Fri. Jan. 15 2010



Monday, January 4, 2010

Week of January 4, 2010

Happy New Year! Blog updated 1/8.

Officials swap stories of battle against invasive species

Social pressure, regulations discussed as tools to prevent spread of unwanted plants, animals

By Rona Kobell
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Journal

nutriaSpiny water fleas, furry mitten crabs, northern snakeheads, dead man's fingers-they all sound like something out of a horror movie. But unfortunately, the story of the invaders that took over the nation's seas is all too real.

These marauders enter our waterways, either introduced accidentally or on purpose, and within a few short years, many establish breeding populations. They gobble up native fish and native habitats. With no natural predators, there's no stopping their growth. They breed like rabbits-or, as the case may be, nutria.

With nature unable to control them, wildlife managers try their best-but often, they're simply too late and the results are devastating.

Invaders take several paths into the waterways. Some are brought in for a specific reason, and then things go terribly wrong. MSX, one of two diseases that have devastated native oyster populations, was accidentally brought to the East Coast with foreign oysters imported for research.

In December, the Mid-Atlantic Panel of Aquatic Nuisance Species met in Baltimore to discuss the various vectors for bringing in the invaders and how to better manage them. The panel, which was organized by Maryland Sea Grant, was established in 2003.

It took the place of the Bay Program's Invasive Species Workgroup and, based on lessons learned here and elsewhere, is aimed at preventing new invasions when possible, and containing them when prevention doesn't work.

"Some of them hang out in a bay and stay for 50 years, and don't spread-until they do," said James Carlton, director of the Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program at Williams College in Massachusetts.

The case of the Asian carp and the Great Lakes is an example of the threat an invasive species can pose, and the millions of dollars in effort it takes to combat it.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service brought the Asian carp to the United States, seeking a natural weed killer. In the 1970s, catfish farmers in the Southeast began importing them as a natural pond cleaner.

But floods in the Mississippi caused the ponds to overflow, and the carp swam into the great river. In some parts of the Mississippi, the voracious carp is the dominant species. They can weigh up to 100 pounds and can consume 40 percent of their body weight daily. They have no natural predators, and are so bony that U.S. consumers don't want to eat them.

The carp was recently discovered in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a man-made body of water connecting the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes. The Army Corps of Engineers has an electronic barrier at the canal to stop the fish from entering the Great Lakes. But Michigan authorities are complaining that the electronic barrier-which costs $40,000 a month to power-is not enough to keep the carp from the Great Lakes. They want the Corps to close the canal and protect Michigan's $7 billion tourism/recreational fishing industry. But, closing the canal would disrupt a huge amount of interstate commerce between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, and the Corps is planning to use federal stimulus money to erect another barrier to further insulate the Great Lakes.

So, in 40 years, the Asian carp has gone from a helpful pond cleaner to a multimillion-dollar nuisance.

snakeheadThe northern snakehead hasn't proven to be the nuisance that Asian Carp is, but it's still worrisome that scientists have discovered hundreds of them in the Potomac River and several of its Northern Virginia tributaries. Scientists believe the snakeheads got to the Potomac sometime around 2002, when a male and female were dumped into Dogue Creek. So far, the bass in the river are tolerating the voracious Chinese fish, but scientists worry the peaceful co-existence won't last long, given snakeheads' copious breeding practices.

Live bait is also an excellent vector for invasive species. Fishermen should never release unused bait into the water or leave it on shore. They should save it, give it to another angler or put it in their freezer. [...]

Robert Wiltshire, founder and director of the Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species, said that it's not enough to tell people to clean their boats. It has to be socially important for them to do so. Managers can appeal to the environmental sensibilities of a fly fisherman in a canoe, but Wiltshire said, that same message wouldn't go over well with a jet skier.

"We can't do this through regulation. The real action is through peer-to-peer sharing," Wiltshire said. "You need your fishing buddy to tell you to clean your boat, not the Game Board." One way to do that, he said, is to reach out to professional athletes in competitions such as the X-Games.

The biggest conduit for aquatic invasive species, though, is ballast water used to balance ships that travel the world.

Carlton, of the Mystic maritime program, said the nation's scientists and port managers must work together to reduce the surprises. For decades, environmentalists have pushed for stricter federal standards. And when they didn't materialize, many states took matters into their own hands. In 2000, Washington state required ships to exchange their ballast water 50 miles from shore. Oregon and California soon followed suit.

In 2004-eight years after Congress passed a voluntary program to regulate ballast water, the Coast Guard required ships to flush ballast water from their tanks and replace it with ocean water when they were at least 200 miles from shore. But most of the ships couldn't comply with that standard.

Gregory Ruiz, who studies invasives and ballast water at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD, said the exchanges, while "better than nothing" are an imperfect answer. The exchange does not get rid of all organisms. And it can be dangerous for a ship to destabilize itself in the middle of the ocean.

Over the last several years, the shipping industry and marine scientists have agreed that onboard treatment systems using chemicals to kill all of the invasive species are a far better option. The Coast Guard is now proposing that all ships have a treatment system on board by 2016.

The Chesapeake Bay is now home to 170 invasive species, from the invasive reed, phragmites, to nutria, a foreign muskrat, on Maryland's Eastern Shore to the shellfish-eating rapa whelk in Virginia and zebra mussels in the Susquehanna.

Bay policy makers didn't really start to study the problem of invasive species until the mid-1990s, when they were already clearly a problem in San Francisco Bay and the Great Lakes.

But now, the Chesapeake is one of two places in the country where new ballast water treatment systems are being tested. The Maritime Environmental Resource Center, which does its research aboard the Cape Washington near Baltimore's Inner Harbor, is testing ballast water treatment options. Part of a partnership between the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and the Maryland Port Administration, the center is also looking at ways to limit hull fouling from invasive species and to rein in air emissions from ships.

Read the story at link



Weeds Across Borders 2010 conference
in West Virginia

June 1-4, 2010
National Conservation Training Center
Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA

The Weeds Across Borders 2010 Coordinating Committee is now accepting abstracts for oral (paper) and poster presentations. The theme of this year’s conference is “Plant Invasions: Policies, Politics, and Practices”. Program session topics include: Cooperation & Partnerships, Applied Research Reports, New Issues, Border Management & Recreational Pathways, Economic & Ecological Impacts: Trends & Predictions, Awareness & Education, and Early Detection & Rapid Response.

For more information on the Call for Papers and a tentative Conference Agenda, visit the WAB 2010 website or see the attached files.

Weeds Across Borders is a biennial international conference covering the interests of professionals and organizations involved in weed management and regulation. It is composed of an affiliation of organizations from various jurisdictions across North America with a common interest in sharing information and promoting weed management throughout North America. Because weeds do not respect human imposed laws or boundaries, we must develop partnerships, share information, and coordinate programs and projects that cross these boundaries.

The goal of the conference is to provide a forum for educating, sharing, and disseminating knowledge about weed management, regulatory issues, and concerns about weed dispersal across and between all jurisdictional boundaries in Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

For more details, visit the Center for Invasive Plant Management.

WAB Conference Contact:

Emily Rindos
Center for Invasive Plant Management
Montana State University-Bozeman


To Capital/Mohawk PRISM Members,

Our next meeting will be held on January 28, 2010, at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar. An agenda and directions to the Center are attached. Our feature speaker will be Mike Flaherty from DEC's New Paltz office discussing northern snakeheads.

Also attached are draft minutes from our October 9 meeting at Schodack Island State Park. I would ask attendees to review the minutes and send me corrections/revisions.

Happy New Year! Hope to see you at Delmar.

Peg Sauer


Illinois Asian carp: New York attorney general to file brief in Supreme Court

Lawsuit wants to close canal in Chicago

Associated Press

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is joining the legal effort to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes because the species could devastate the fishing industry and the environment.

Cuomo said he plans to file a brief Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Michigan's request for an injunction to close a Chicago canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi water basin. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio also are supporting the request.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reviewing the suit.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has said that closing the canal would not prevent the carp from migrating.

Read the article at link.


NYSDEC announces changes to bait fish regulations

Anglers now have 10 days to use purchased, certified bait
Alewife and rainbow smelt allowed in certain Western New York waters

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced revised regulations that extend the time period for anglers to legally possess and use certified bait fish from seven to 10 days after purchase, and also allow the use of some bait fish in certain Western New York waters that had previously been prohibited. The new rules become effective today.

The movement of uncertified bait fish can be a principle avenue for the transmission of fish diseases. In an effort to protect New York’s fisheries from the introduction of invasive species and diseases, DEC enacted rules to restrict bait fish use ( ) including limiting the use of certified disease-free bait fish to within one week of purchase. After receiving requests and input from anglers seeking to extend that time period, DEC is providing an additional three days to allow certified bait fish to be used in state waters. With the extension to 10 days, anglers can potentially use the bait fish over consecutive weekends, depending on the date of purchase. The 10-day period will extend from the date of purchase indicated on the required, dated bait fish receipt. [...]

In addition, the new regulation allows for the use of two bait fish species in additional waters of the state where their use is currently prohibited. Alewife may now be used in Hemlock Lake (Livingston County), Canadice Lake (Ontario County) and Waneta Lake (Schuyler County). In addition, use of rainbow smelt as bait will also be allowed in Hemlock Lake and Canadice Lake, as well as Honeoye Lake (Ontario County). These species are being added to the acceptable list of bait fish species that can be used because reproducing populations of alewife and smelt currently exist in these lakes and their use as bait fish poses no biological threat to the waters’ fish communities.

While DEC is expanding the list of waters where the use of alewife and rainbow smelt is permitted, use is still subject to the statewide regulations pertaining to the use of bait fish, including the prohibition against the overland transport of uncertified bait fish. Information about these requirements and other freshwater fishing regulations can be found at on the DEC website.

Read the story at link.


Everglades National Park unveils “Don’t Let It Loose” billboard campaign

Everglades National Park, in partnership with other Federal and state land management agencies in Florida, recently unveiled a year-long campaign to highlight the ongoing issue of invasive species in the Everglades. Over the next twelve months, a statewide network of billboards will feature select nonnative species and advise viewers to “Don’t Let It Loose.”

The introduction of nonnative plants and animals poses a significant challenge to successful Everglades restoration. In recent years, the proliferation of several high-profile species in south Florida has served to illustrate the need for prevention and control, with public education being viewed as an important tool in the effort. Several “un-wanted” species of plants and animals will be featured statewide on billboards donated by the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association and produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Viewers will be directed to, where visitors can learn more about invasive species, report sightings of nonnatives, or find help for unwanted exotic pets.

Read the story at link.