Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011

CT Offers Tips to Limit Spread of Invasive Species

zebra_musselsThe Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Lake Zoar Authority will be monitoring local boat launches for the presence of invasive plants and animals, such as zebra mussels.

Zebra mussels were discovered in Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah in October 2010. This is the first new report of zebra mussels in Connecticut since 1998, when they were discovered in East and West Twin Lakes in Salisbury....

Actions anglers and boaters must take to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals, including zebra mussels, are as follows:

Before leaving a boat launch, clean all visible plant, fish, and animals as well as mud or other debris. Do not transport them home. Drain all water from every space and item that may hold water.

At home or prior to your next launch, dry anything that comes in contact with water (boats, trailers, anchors, propellers, etc.) for a minimum of 1 week during hot/dry weather or a minimum of 4 weeks during cool/wet weather. If drying is not possible, clean your boat prior to the next launch.

When fishing, do not dump your bait bucket or release live bait. Avoid introducing unwanted plants and animals to the water. Unless your bait was obtained on site, dispose of it in a suitable trash container or give it to another angler. Do not transport fish, other animals or plants between water bodies. Release caught fish, other animals and plants only into the waters from which they came.

The techniques listed below are for decontaminating your vessel:

Wash your boat with hot, pressurized water.

Dip equipment in 100% vinegar for 20 minutes prior to rinsing.

Wash with a 1% salt solution (2/3 cup to 5 gallons water) and leave on for 24 hours prior to rinsing.

“Wet” with bleach solution (1oz to 1 gallon water) or soap and hot water (Lysol, boat soap, etc) for 10 minutes prior to rinsing.

For more information on zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species:

DEEP: Invasive Species

Photo: Wikimedia


Tribes Lead Cultural Preservation Threatened by Invasive Species

By Sharon Lucik, APHIS Public Affairs, on the USDA Blog

The emerald ash borer beetle (EAB) is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees across 15 States. It has had a devastating effect wherever ash trees grow. Whether the ash is used by industry; shading homes and urban streets, or an integral part of our forest ecosystem, its decline due to EAB is being felt by everyone. Perhaps one of the hardest hit by this pest are Native American tribes of the Northeastern United States for whom brown ash is rooted deep in their culture, providing spiritual and economic support to their communities.

Life-giving Mother Earth is central in the lives of the tribes and ash trees in particular are highly treasured. The wood from ash is used to create snowshoes, hunting and fishing decoys, canoe paddles and medicinal remedies. Also, brown ash (also called black ash) in particular is used to create intricate woven baskets, toys and musical instruments. This invasive pest that so directly threatens the life style and tradition of many Native American tribes has also created an opportunity for collaboration and intellectual exchange between tribal groups and the USDA.

“Ash trees are important to Native people of the northeast, animals of the forest, and even the ecologies of the forest,” said Kelly Church, fifth-generation basket weaver, Grand Traverse band of the Ottawa and Ojibwe. “Each Federal agency, State agency, Tribal government, tribal harvester, or just one person can make a difference; but working together we can make a bigger difference for all of us.”

Many tribes have engaged their own communities to prevent the spread of EAB, in conjunction with supporting USDA EAB program efforts. The Cherokee, Mohawk, Ojibwe, Penobscot and other tribes survey for the pest, using purple panel traps, on lands they steward. Tribes also distribute EAB informational material to tourists and engage in one-on-one conversations to help educate campers about the risk of moving firewood. In addition, a group of Native American basketweavers are lending their knowledge and expertise to support EAB research. Scientists with U.S Department of Agriculture’s Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) are investigating treatments to kill EAB in black ash logs so the raw material can be transported out of quarantine areas without spreading EAB. Tribes from Maine, New York and Michigan have stepped up to help evaluate the integrity of ash splints freshly pounded from black ash logs submerged in water for 4-months, a potential treatment. It was found that these splints were still viable as basket making material but unfortunately EAB larva also survived to complete its lifecycle. These trials continue.

With the future of the ash tree species in peril and long-held traditions in jeopardy, Native Americans have ignited their communities to help preserve their cultural heritage by collecting ash seeds. Working independently and in conjunction with the National Center for Genetic Resource Preservation, seed collection and storage will help to hedge genetic diversity of ash trees for future generations...

Read the full story at link.


Water chestnut may be spreading in southeastern Pennsylvania

By Carolyn Beeler,

An invasive species of water plant seems to be spreading in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Water chestnuts--no relation to the ones in your Chinese food--have dense surface foliage that can crowd out other plants and threaten fish life. Their spiky seed pods that wash up on shore can make getting near the water painful for anglers and swimmers.

Conservation workers are waging war on them in Bradford Reservoir, also known as Warrington Lake, in central Bucks County. It's one of the first places in Pennsylvania where they were identified.

"The surface of the water is 100 percent covered with these plant rosettes, and they become very thick and matted," said Gretchen Schatschneider, district manager with the Bucks County Conservation District. "If you fly overhead, you almost don't see the lake, it just looks like an extension of the lawn area"...

Fred Lubnow, director of the aquatics program with Princeton Hydro, an environmental and engineering consulting firm, said the water chestnut has become a primary concern in the past few years.

"In the last I'd say two to three years we've really seen it appear in a lot of places on either side of the Delaware River," Lubnow said.

Read the full story at link.


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