Posts Tagged ‘National Invasive Species Awareness Week’

National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Water Chestnut

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Welcome to the final day of National Invasive Species Week! Thank you all for sticking with us. We hope you’ve learned a great deal and will continue efforts in preserving our native species! Last, but not least, we look at the aquatic invasive Water Chestnut.

Water Chestnut is native to Eurasia and Africa, introduced to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s as an ornamental plant. It is found in freshwater lakes and slow-moving streams and rivers. First notice in Scotia, NY, Water Chestnut occurs in 43 counties across New York State.

Indentification

Water Chestnut is an annual plant with floating triangluarly-shaped leaves containing saw-toothed edges. The submerged, hollow air-filled stems grow 12 to 15 feet in length that anchor themselves in the soil. Four-petaled, white flowers bloom in June, with fruits containing 4-inch spines with barbs. Seeds within the fruits remain viable up to 12 years. The fruits are key in spreading Water Chestnut, as they detach from the stem and float to another area. The barbs aid in attaching the fruit to recreational watercrafts and fishing equipment.

Leaf system of Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Leaf system of Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Fruit of the Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

Fruit of the Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

So what’s the problem?

Water Chestnuts contain dense root mats that make water recreation extremely difficult to get through. These dense mats also shade out native plants, which provide food and shelter to native  fish, birds, and insects. When the dense mats decompose, the chemical processes involved decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, potentially suffocating fish and plant species. The fruits of the Water Chestnut are often found along the shoreline and bottom of waterways, making the barbs of the fruits extremely painful if stepped on.

What can be done?

A variety of methods in controlling Water Chestnut include manual, mechanical, and chemical methods. Early detection is the best way to control and even eradicate this invasive aquatic plant, keeping costs and ecological impacts low. Hand-pulling is often done to smaller infected areas, though, when a site is too large, harvesting machines can also be used. Chemical treatments should be done by NYS DEC professionals only.

As a local community member, make sure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft and equipment before and after each use. Be sure to dump your bait bucket water where it came from or on land.

If you think you have found Water Chestnut, take a look at the Water Chestnut Fact Sheet. If confirmed, the NYS DEC asks you take many photos and submit a report to iMapInvasives. Please share this information with others!


For more information regarding local infestations of Water Chestnut, check out the Esopus Creek Conservancy here. Thank you again for taking time to explore invasive species with us during National Invasive Species Awareness Week! Check back soon for more updates from the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Didymo (Rock Snot)

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Day 4 of National Invasive Species Awareness Week is dedicated to Rock Snot!

What is it?

Didymosphernia geminata a.k.a. Didymo a.k.a. Rock Snot, is an aquatic, invasive, microscopic diatomaceous algae that produces high volumes of stalk material, which is why you may see thick mats on stream bottoms. It is often brown, tan, or white, with the appearance and texture of wet wool that does not fall apart easily.

Didymo in the Esopus Creek. photo courtesy of NYIS

Didymo in the Esopus Creek.
photo courtesy of NYIS

How does this impact streams?

Because Didymo grows on the bottom of streams and still waters, and forms thick mats of material, it can last for months, despite occurring throughout some fast moving streams. When Didymo grows, or blooms, it covers entire stream beds, covering over native organisms, and restricting the availability of food for native fish species. It spreads quickly and easily due to water recreation activities. Fishing, kayaking/canoeing, tubing, and boating allows the microscopic algea to attach onto your boots, waders, and boats, and if not cleaned off properly, it will spread to the next body of water you go to. Currently, there are no control methods available to stop the spread and eradicate Didymo.

Make it stop!

NYS DEC urges the public to use the “Inspect, Clean and Dry” method to decrease the spread of invasive species. If for any reason you can’t get your equipment clean and dry, restrict your equipment to a single water body.

Density Observations of Rock Snot. map courtesy of NYIS

Density Observations of Rock Snot.
map courtesy of NYIS


**Attention Felt-Sole Waders! We encourage you to consider other alternatives, such as rubber studded boots. Because felt-soles absorb Didymo cells and remain absorbent for long periods of time, the spread of Didymo can increase rapidly if special treatments are not conducted.

Check back tomorrow for our final day of National Invasive Species Awareness Week!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Emerald Ash Borer

Posted on: February 28th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Happy Wednesday! On this third day of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, we’re taking a closer look at the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

According to the NYS DEC, The EAB is a beetle from Asia that was first found in Michigan in 2002. Sadly, the EAB infests and eventually kills North American Ash tree species, making every native Ash tree susceptible to infestation.

Let’s get a closer look!

The EAB is very small, measuring, at most, 0.5 inches long and 0.125 inches wide. The adults have a shimmering emerald green body with a copper or purple abdomen on it’s underside. You’ll often see these pests from May through September, but their prime activity months are June and July. If you pass by an Ash tree, you will most likely see D-shaped exit holes in the branches and trunk of trees. Other signs of infection include the yellowing and browning of tree leaves and less tree canopy present. Within 2 to 4 years, the Ash trees will succumb to the EAB infestation.

ID the Emerald Ash Borer. photo courtesy of NYIS

ID the Emerald Ash Borer.
photo courtesy of NYIS

Emerald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Emerald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree.
photo courtesy of Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Emerald Ash Borer Damage to an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Woodworking Network

Emerald Ash Borer Damage to an Ash tree.
photo courtesy of Woodworking Network

The EAB is found throughout the Eastern to Central United States and Eastern Canada. In New York, the first infestation of EAB was sighted in Cattaraugus County in 2009. It then spread to the Hudson River Valley, and continued on to more than 30 counties. Infestations were most recently found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties in 2017.

Map of Emerald Ash Borer Locations. courtesy of NYS DEC

Map of Emerald Ash Borer Locations.
courtesy of NYS DEC

 What can you do?

Review this EAB Early Detection Brochure. If you believe you have an Emerald Ash Borer infestation and are outside of the known infestation areas, call the Department of Forest Health Information line (1-866-640-0652).


 

Keep up with us this week in honor of National Invasive Species Awareness Week and check back tomorrow to learn about a different Invasive Species!

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