Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel Forum

published by and for the Panel

Skip to: Content | Sidebar | Footer

April 2011 meeting roundtable updates

Dear NEANS Panelists and ANS friends,

Please post to this page your Roundtable updates so that those not at the meeting will be able to read them and to keep the meeting summaries concise.

Thank you.

Michele L. Tremblay

Comments

Comment from Ann Bove on April 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Infestation Status, 2010:
• One new Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) water was confirmed, 54-acre Ticklenaked Pond in Ryegate, bringing the total number of known lakes with populations to 66 and 27 other waters. • No new variable-leaved watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), water chestnut (Trapa natans), yellow-floating heart (Nymphoides peltata), European frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) or curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) sites were identified. • Didymo blooms were confirmed in two new Vermont rivers: the Gihon River in the vicinity of Johnson, Vermont; and the Passumpsic River in the vicinity of West Burke, Vermont. Interestingly, major blooms were not observed in the White and Mad Rivers that experienced significant blooms in previous years, and the Batten Kill in Vermont continues to remain nuisance-bloom free despite the microscopic detection of didymo cells in samples collected in previous years. Extensive monitoring for didymo has not been conducted due to staff limitations. VTANR’s efforts emphasize spread prevention – new infestations were reported by alert citizens. • Twenty-six inland lakes and rivers were monitored for zebra mussel veligers using plankton net sampling during the summer. No new infestations were detected. Lake Champlain and Lake Bomoseen continue to be the only Vermont waters known to be infested with zebra mussels. • No quagga mussel infestations or Asian clam infestations are known to occur in Vermont. • A new exotic crayfish species – big water crayfish (Cambarus robustus) – was confirmed for the first time in Vermont, in the White River. Although there is cautious optimism that the species will not prove highly invasive, the discovery does raise renewed concerns about the ongoing threat of crayfish introductions via bait or aquarium releases.

Rapid Response:
• With New York appointments in January 2011, the Lake Champlain Basin Rapid Response Task Force, as outlined in the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Action Plan (May 2010) is complete . The Task Force, which also includes representatives from Quebec and Vermont, met for the first time in February and followed with an EPA-lead Incident Command System training. • Vermont’s new emergency permitting authority aimed at initiating a rapid response to a new invasive species invasion was authorized under a General Permit in March 2011. VTDEC requested and received coverage under the General Permit for the use of diver operated suction harvesting on variable-leaved watermilfoil. Bids for a contractor to conduct the work are underway; if funds and a Threatened and Endangered Takings Permit for mussel species can be obtained, control is expected to begin in May.

Legislation:
• On April 1, 2011, a ban on the use of felt-soled wading boots in Vermont waters became effective. The full text of the ban is available at http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/Acts/ACT130.pdf

Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas:
• One of two forming Vermont “CISMA’s,” the Ottauquechee River watershed CISMA, received a $45,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Pulling Together Initiative to kick start the formation process and fund first year activities. CISMAs are partnerships of federal, state and local government agencies, individuals and non-government groups that manage invasive species in a defined area.

Boat launch monitoring and volunteer early detection, 2010:
• Boat access area greeter programs receiving partial state funding were operated at 20 Vermont lakes in 2010; two or three other lakes, and Lake Champlain, operated greeter programs funded through other sources. Collectively, state-funded programs inspected more than 8000 boats and reported 190 boats carrying plant or animal material, including some with identified invasive species (including several Eurasian watermilfoil and one fanwort specimen) • Four Vermont Invasive Patrollers (VIPs) basic training workshops were held around the state in 2010 with a total of 41 participants. This brings to approximately 400 the total number of VIP volunteers trained since the program’s inception four years ago. Certified Vermont invasive patrollers (VIPs) documented at least 25 surveys on 9 water bodies during 2010. No new invasive species infestations were discovered by VIPs during the 2010 season.

Grants:
• Approximately $416,000 from a portion of state motorboat registration funds and federal Army Corps of Engineer monies will support 35 grants to municipalities managing aquatic invasive species in 2011: 22 for Eurasian watermilfoil efforts, 11 for spread prevention projects and 2 for other species control efforts. Additional state and federal funds are available in 2011 to support VTDEC initiated variable-leaved watermilfoil and water chestnut control programs, state supported watch and access greeter program materials.

Comment from Nancy Murray – Nancy Balcom on April 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

NEANS UPDATE

CONNECTICUT
Nancy Murray, CT DEP / Nancy Balcom, CT Sea Grant

CT ANS Program Update
CT DEP Inland Fisheries Division established a part-time ANS Coordinator through a Cooperative Agreement with the University of Connecticut’s Institute of Water Resources. Dr. Patricia Bresnahan, one of the original authors of the CT Plan, started work in December 2010. Nancy Balcom, Pat and I have re-established the CT ANS Work Group, updated the CT ANS Species List, the vectors list and are drafting a rapid response plan. On April 7, 2011, we held our first CT Work Group meeting since the CT ANS Plan was approved. The Work Group reviewed and provided substantive input that will be incorporated into the final documents.

Species Update
New locations of zebra mussels were documented from Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah in September 2010. It was timely that we received a onetime allocation of funds from the USFWS ANS Program. Two projects will get underway this year. Ethan Nedeau will be conducting adult zebra mussel and veliger surveys in high risk waters in CT. Western Connecticut State University will be conducting more detailed surveys at Candlewood Lake, Lake Lillinonah and Zoar.

Didymo, was found in the West Branch of the Farmington River in March by knowledgeable anglers who contacted CT DEP. Specimens were collected and sent to Leslie Matthews with VT DEC to confirm the identification. Leslie shared protocols and experience that will be useful to developing a CT monitoring and education plan.

Invasive Investigator
Gwendolynn Flynn, DEP Bureau of Outdoor Recreation-Boating Division, has been running a Boating Education Assistant (BEA) Program for 6 years. BEAs are paid seasonal workers to visit state boat launches to educate the boating public about clean (using green cleaners, aquatic invasive species, etc) and safe (wear your life jacket, having the proper boating education, etc) boating practices. This year she initiated a project, called the Invasive Investigator Program, which trains volunteers to educate anglers and recreational boaters about aquatic invasive species. The Volunteer Invasive Investigator (II) Program is designed specifically to help educate people on ways to keep our waters clean and prevent the spread of aquatic hitchhikers into the lakes and rivers of Connecticut.

Volunteers are required to attend an initial training of 2.5 hours and visit local boat launches. DEP Boating staff will familiarize you with the local invasive species, teach you how to conduct a voluntary inspection and provide instructions regarding data collection. The program is administered under the authority of the DEP and training is held at local sites. Volunteers will be under the local supervision of the lake or pond organization with whom they register.
At the boat launch, the DEP asks that IIs interact with boaters, familiarize them with invasive species present at the waterbody, distribute invasive species educational materials, conduct a voluntary inspection to see if there are any visible plant fragments or zebra mussels, and show the boater the steps needed to ensure they are not spreading unwanted plants and animals. The Invasive Investigator will also conduct a voluntary survey to determine what, if any cleaning precautions were taken prior to launching, and return surveys and other information gathered to the DEP-Boating Division on a weekly basis.

NPDES Update
Brad Robinson, DEP Pesticide Program, reports that CT is developing the NPDES general permit, but on a more relaxed timetable given the stay until October. The feeling here is that we cannot count on H.R. 872 making its way through the rest of the Congress. We hope to go to public notice sometime in late spring/early summer, and proceed with the enactment of the General Permit, which will have an effective date of October. The permit issuance process is back to standard operating procedures for this spring.

Bantam Lake Fanwort Control
This project used diver-assisted suction harvesting to remove fanwort along the north shore of Bantam Lake and at the inlet of the Bantam River. Results were encouraging. Benthic barriers were also tested in limited areas to determine the efficacy in controlling fanwort in the lake and portions of Bantam River. These results were less encouraging. When the benthic barriers were removed in late autumn, fanwort was found growing under the barriers. However, some control was observed.

Legislation
DEP Inland Fisheries staff worked with the State of CT Judicial Branch to correct an oversight and have CT General Statutes section 15-180 (requires removal of all plants from boats and trailers prior to transporting the boat or trailer) included in the schedule of mail in violations/infractions. This change simplifies enforcement of the statute as court appearances will no longer be required. This action should increase compliance of the law and help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species.

CT Sea Grant Outreach and Education
In spring 2011, Connecticut Sea Grant initiated a public outreach program for coastal boaters and anglers, in cooperation with CT DEP, the US Coast Guard, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and New York Sea Grant. The multi-pronged program includes:
• “Don’t Dump Bait” stickers distributed to 10 bait retailers for application to boxes of live bait at point of sale
• Don’t Dump Bait” neck wallets, “Keep Boat Hulls Clean” key chains, 30” ruler stickers with same messages, and Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers magnets to be distributed by US Coast Guard Auxiliary during voluntary vessel inspections across coast and by USCG Sea Partners at public events, along with brief messages about AIS
• Two versions of a hull fouling poster distributed to marinas in Connecticut and Rhode Island for voluntary posting, particularly focusing on those that cater to transient boaters
• Student worker to conduct brief survey of boaters and anglers during summer to assess awareness of AIS and familiarity with outreach materials

Plans to work with CT DEP and local teachers to develop guidelines for appropriate use of AIS in classrooms to be distributed through CT Science Teachers’ Association

Comment from Mike Goehle on April 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Northeast Regional Updates for NEANS Spring, 2011 Meeting
• The USFWS provided a total of $1.58M to NY and PA for implementation of their state ANS plans under the 2010 GLRI. States are currently preparing requests for 2011 GLRI funding, however we are still awaiting a final funding amount for this fiscal year.
• Under GLRI, the USFWS Northeast Region hired a fishery biologist who conducted rapid risk assessments on 100 species at risk to invade the Great Lakes or expand within the United States. This list includes fish, plants, and invertebrates. We have recently started work on 100 additional species as part of the 2011 GLRI efforts.
• The USFWS Northeast Region is currently drafting grant agreement modifications for state ANS management plans to add funding for 2011. Although a 2011 award amount has not yet been announced, all states have submitted initial requests for funding.
• The USFWS Northeast Region AIS program, is providing $5,000 to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to expand northern pike removal efforts in Pushaw Lake and tributaries. This is in response to an introduction of northern pike to the lake which connects to the Penobscot River and thus poses a threat to Atlantic salmon recovery efforts.
• In early April, 2011 the USFWS along with partners from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and Wyoming Game and Fish Department revised the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) curriculum at the National Conservation Training Center. A 4-hour version of this training will be provided on Tuesday, 4/26, a day prior to the fall NEANS meeting in Quebec City.
• In 2010, the USFWS, Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office along with partners from Erie County and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, removed approximately 710 cubic yards of water chestnut from New York’s Erie Canal. This location is in Tonawanda Creek, just outside Buffalo, NY. USFWS staff and volunteers also led early detection and hand harvest efforts up to 10 miles outside this source location and pulled over 2,000 rosettes. Planning for expanded 2011 efforts is currently underway. A video summarizing the 2010 efforts can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESo_LMtlt0M

Comment from Leslie Surprenant on April 23, 2011 at 7:55 am

Update from NYS Dept of Env Conservation Office of Invasive Species Coordination (OISC)

* NYS budget passed ON TIME with $3.8 M of Environmental Protection Funds for IS program implementation.

*OISC director Steven Sanford retired in late September. Leslie Surprenant served as interim director and was hired as director in late November. Her former postion cannot be back-filled and most prior responsibilities remain in her portfolio. OISC lost its planning coordinator and is not able to refill this position. OISC is now staffed by 2 – Leslie and Dave Adams (regulatory and policy coordinator) (down from 4) and is responsible for implementing the recommendations of the NYS Invasive Species Task Force (ISTF) report http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/istfreport1105.pdf , supporting the NYS Invasive Species Council (9 stakeholder agencies lead by DEC and Dept of Ag and Markets), the IS Advisory Committee (25 non-gov members), collaborating with all internal and external stakeholders; providing guidance for spread prevention, BMPs etc. OISC addresses aquatic, terrestrial and pathogenic invasives. The goal is to develop a comprehensive, integrated approach to invasive species.

* While agency and OISC staff are depleted, contracting to implement the ISTF recommendations has resulted in ~ 17 full time equivalent positions and many more seasonal and subcontract positions on the NY’s landscape working to help NY address the challenges of all taxa of IS.

*Contracts to administer two new Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (Catskills and St Lawrence – E Lk Ontario) were finalized and one for Long Island should be in place soon. NY is working to cover 100% of the state with grass roots partnerships to deliver comprehensive IS management at the landscape level. It has been a very long and difficult endeavor due to complex procurement processes and NY’s fiscal disaster. NY hosts monthly (except July, Aug and Dec) conference calls and presentations that are open to all. Dr. Sarah Spaulding recently presented on Didymo; past presenters on aquatic invaders include Dr. David Strayer and Scott Kishbaugh on current and emerging AIS and Mike Flaherty on NY’s eradicaition effort for northern snakehead fish in SE NY. All presentations are recorded for online viewing and PDFs of PPTs are available. Contact Leslie Surprenant for PPTs and list of presentations – Ljsurpre@gw.dec.state.ny.us To call announcements, you need to be on a PRISM listserve to receive call announcements; fmi – http://nyis.info/PRISM/Regional_Partnerships.aspx

* NY Invasive Species Research Institute http://nyisri.org/ under Cornell University lead is continues to provide an excellent resource for information, expert contacts, etc. Coordinator Holly Menninger, PhD, researched NY’s approach to Eurasian watermilfoil control and the available research in NY and beyond and will be presenting a report and recommendations to the NY ISC. Holly works closely with the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse – online IS library at http://nyis.info/and the NY IS Education – Outreach initiative (both under contract with Cornell University.)

* NY recently finalized a contract with Cornell U to deliver comprehensive education – outreach on IS. The contract will support 3 extension staff strategically placed to work with PRISM, the ISC, OISC etc and will work closely with other elements of NY’s implementation strategy.

* NYS Comprehensive IS Plan phase 1 is underway under a Dept of Ag and Markets lead and contracted to Ecology and Environment. Phase 1 is data gathering and analyisis of agency authorities, responisbilities, activities and funding. Dept of Ag and Markets lost its invasive species management coordinator ~ 18 months ago and recently lost its Cooperative Agriculture Pest Management coordinator , both of whom closely with PRISMs.

* NY’s Invasive Species Database (aka iMap) development continues at a rapid pace. ~15,000 entries, mostly terrestrial spp, have been entered. Training is available and other states have joined the effort. Fmi – http://imapinvasives.org/

* OISC provided leadership to NY’s Emerald Ash Borer response – Planning Coordinator Dan Gaidasz, prior to his recent departure, worked closely with State forestry staff and the US Forest Service to implement Incident Command System processes in delimiting the infestation in SE NY (Ulster and Greene Cos). This is intended to serve as a model in other delimiting efforts across NY. The Catskill PRISM is engaged in the forest pest issue and is rolling out community preparedness initiatives including an ambitious community volunteer ash tree inventory 21 Catskill communities and has assisted with the delimiting efforts including peeling ash logs in search of EAB larvae.

* Several new counties positive for Emerald Ash Borer – resulted in western NY under quarantine and a separate Ulster and Greene county quarantine.

* Ballast water – NY extended deadline for compliance with BW standards (to 100x IMO) from 1/1/12 to 8/1/13.

* New Didymo infestation discovered recently in Rondout Creek, Ulster Co. Most infestations in NY are in NYC reservoir tailwaters that are excellent trout fisheries.

* OISC coordinated 2010 and current 2011 Great Lks Restoration Initative grant apps and requested funds be passed through to one applicant to administer 5 awards (for watercraft inspectors, water chestnut control and IS monitoring and mapping). GLRI EPA grants were coordinated in early April and Fish and Wildlife Service Grant apps for 2011 are currently being coordinated.

* NYS DEC continues to pass through its AIS plan implementation funds directly to support watershed stewards/boat inspectors in the Adirondack region.

Comment from Jason LeBlanc on April 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Nova Scotia Invasive Species Updates for the Spring NEANS Meeting
April 2011

Illegal introductions associated with the recreational fishery continue to be our primary focus. To better address this issue regulation changes have been made to attempt to remove the incentive (angling) for further freshwater fish introductions.

New for 2011 – Closed Areas for Smallmouth Bass
• To better address illegal introductions through vector management.
• Angling will not be permitted for smallmouth bass in areas of new introductions.
• Existing lakes containing smallmouth bass will remain open but the bag limit increased to 25.
• This pertains to approximately 50% of the province.

Amendments to Provincial Legislation ♦ Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act ♦
Provide authority for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to develop regulations under this provincial legislation to address aquatic invasive species issues.
• A Bill was passed in November 2010 to provide Ministerial authority.
• Prohibition on the possession of live fish regulations are being developed and will hopefully be in place during the 2011 angling season.
• Our legislative review committee is currently assessing the draft regulations and reviewing the exemptions that have been proposed; fines and inspection powers of enforcement officers are also being discussed.

The Inland Fisheries Advisory Council (IFAC) is a committee made up of the major sportfishing organizations in Nova Scotia. At the request of the Canadian Association of Smallmouth Anglers an aquatic invasive species working group has been formed; designed to discuss provincial AIS issues and develop strategies to address them. The committee is chaired by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and has representatives from: (1) Nova Scotia Salmon Association, (2) the Canadian Association of Smallmouth Anglers, (3) Trout Unlimited, (4) Trout Nova Scotia, (5) the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters , and (6) the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Outreach and Education projects continue in collaboration with non-government organizations. Signage is being erected pertaining to inspecting recreational boats for aquatic plants (eg. yellow floating heart) and the misuse of live bait from lakes containing chain pickerel and carp. Opportunities are being explored for education and out reach at public marine haul outs and slips ways for marine species (eg. tunicates, MSX and green crab).

Monitoring and early detection programs are being developed for species such as smallmouth bass, chain pickerel and carp.

Comment from John McPhedran on April 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Maine Update for NEANS Panel Meeting, May 2011
John McPhedran, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Maine DEP Program briefs

Boat inspections for 2010

The 2010 boating season was another record-breaker: inspectors conducted 72,428 Courtesy Boat Inspections–an increase of 14,876 over 2009. To achieve this, 5781 additional inspection hours were logged in 2010 for a total of 37,165 hours, roughly equivalent to 18 full-time employees. Boats were inspected both entering and leaving a lake with the majority of inspections (60%) conducted on boats entering. Maintaining this high level of prevention effort is a tremendous achievement for local and regional groups running the inspection programs.

A total of 2,334 plants were found during inspections; 281 of these were invasive plants. For the seventh consecutive year the Courtesy Boat Inspection Program again confirmed several instances of invasive plant interceptions prior to boat launching.

Another first for 2010: all 63 bass clubs participating in bass tournaments were required to conduct inspections as a condition of their permit. As a result, bass tournament participants logged 6,327 inspections, utilized 129 inspectors, and inspected their tournament boats at 36 rivers and lakes that don’t have a Courtesy Boat Inspection Program.

Boater self inspections:

According to two years of DEP observations, less than 20 per cent of the boating public inspects boats and boating gear before entering and exiting Maine lakes. In 2011 DEP will apply tools of social marketing (surveys, field observation, focus groups) to study both factors that thwart self inspection and cues to foster improved compliance.

DEP Control Projects:

Salmon Lake, Belgrade: This Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) infestation, discovered in August, 2008 in a 6-acre cove, was treated with herbicide (2, 4-D) in September 2009 along with benthic barrier deployment and aggressive hand pulling before and after. SCUBA surveys in 2010 revealed no rebound of this infestation. A Surface Use Restriction was reissued for 2010 to minimize boat traffic within the cove, and DEP divers deployed nets at the cove’s outlet and mouth to minimize opportunities for fragmentation to escape. In anticipation of when (and not if) this infestation returns, DEP will resume manual controls, namely hand pulling and benthic barriers.

Damariscotta Lake, Jefferson: Maine’s second hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) infestation (after Pickerel Pond, Limerick, documented in 2002) was found in a 1/3rd-acre lagoon within the Lake in 2009. DEP immediately isolated the lagoon with screens. That autumn, DEP staff hand removed two full pick-up truck loads of hydrilla biomass including tubers, and then treated last summer (2010) with herbicide (fluridone). No viable hydrilla was observed within the lagoon in September 2010. Two plants found outside lagoon in 2010 were removed by SCUBA divers. Benthic barriers for most of this lagoon have been ordered for deployment by DEP in the lagoon in May.

Pickerel Pond, Limerick: The Pond has been treated with fluridone for hydrilla control since summer 2003 with an objective to deplete tuber bank with consecutive annual applications. A single SCUBA survey in 2010 revealed no emergent hydrilla growth for the first time in treatment history. DEP divers will conduct further SCUBA surveys in late spring, and continued herbicide treatment of the Pond is slated for 2011. Repeated treatment of the Pond is intended as a test to determine whether eradication can be achieved under favorable conditions and with sustained resource allocation.

Songo River: In 2010, NGO Lakes Environmental Association (LEA) sought closure of the Songo Lock between upper and lower portions of the River. LEA’s formidable success in controlling variable-leaf water milfoil (Myriophyllum hetrophyllum) on the Upper Songo is put at increasing risk from recreational boat traffic en route from the heavily infested Lower Songo. Songo River claims the highest annual boat traffic in state. Department of Conservation (which administers the Lock), DEP and Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife responded with the following alternatives: sponsor more vigilant inspections of boats traveling through the Lock, deploy buoys in the lower river to direct traffic in a manner that reduces plant fragmentation, post signs at the Lock entrance, and control water flow through the Lock to prevent upstream migration of fragments.

In early spring 2011, local marinas dependent commercially upon the Songo River have taken initial steps (gather stakeholders, regulatory authorities) to explore dredging shallow/infested portions of the River. Trial deployment of benthic barriers is planned by LEA to test their success in this active recreational waterway.

Infestation scorecard:

Mid-summer 2010 brought two new variable-leaf water milfoil finds in Great Meadow Stream in Belgrade and Purgatory Stream in Litchfield. The Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance spearheaded control projects at the Great Meadows Stream site (mostly hand removal, benthic barriers) with technical assistance from DEP. DEP also collaborated with the DIFW to issue a Surface Use Restriction in Great Meadow Stream to minimize powered-boat traffic through control areas.

Pleasant Lake, Otisfield/Casco, was removed from the state list of infested waters after three consecutive years of no infestation by variable-leaf water milfoil. Local efforts by the Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association earned kudos for their methodical use of benthic barriers and consistent, high-level volunteer efforts.

Maine now stands today with these documented findings: 33 inland waters out of Maine’s entire lake and stream population are contending with five aquatic invaders—variable-leaf water milfoil, (Maine also has the hybrid M. heterophyllum x laxum); hydrilla; curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), Eurasian water milfoil and European naiad (Najas minor). Twenty seven waterbodies have documented infestations of variable milfoil while two infested sites contain hydrilla Two lakes are known to contain Eurasian water milfoil infestations, two host curly-leaf pondweed of which one also contains European naiad.

Maine remains free of didymo (Didymosphenia geminata). DEP will further its outreach on prevention with advertising in outdoor-interest publications in 2011. Maine will likely add didymo to the official list of invasive plants in the near future. State agencies are also charged with evaluating potential restrictions on felt-soled waders to limit didymo spread, with recommendations for the legislature due in the fall.

Maine Milfoil Summit:

The 12th annual event drew record attendance on April 15th. Hosted by Lakes Environmental Association with support from DEP, this meeting provided current information on policy and issues impacting communities and organizations involved with invasive aquatic species (including fish) control and/or prevention. Courtesy Boat Inspection training required of all volunteers was also provided.

—30—

Comment from Adrienne Pappal on April 22, 2011 at 10:00 am

Massachusetts Marine Invasive Species Updates for the Spring NEANS Meeting
April 2011

• The Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) has added three new species to its monitoring list: the bryozoan Bugula neritina, the shrimp Palaemon elegans, and the amphipod (skeleton shrimp) Caprella mutica, bringing the total number of monitored species to 26. MIMIC participants will continue to monitor at sites throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine.
• MIMIC data from 2008-2009 are available to view and download on MIT Sea Grant’s MITIS database http://massbay.mit.edu/mitis/ and through CZM’s Massachusetts Online Resource Information System (MORIS): http://www.mass.gov/czm/mapping/index.htm. Data from the 2010 monitoring season will be available in the first half of 2011.
• A CZM-funded study on fouling of lobster traps by non-native marine species has been completed by Salem Sound Coastwatch. The study examined rates and types of fouling on commercial lobster traps and knowledge of MIS in the lobster industry. Results indicate a high level of fouling in the shallow Salem Harbor area, comprised of the non-native tunicates Ascidiella aspersa, Botrylloides violaceus, and Botryllus schlosseri. Whereas at the boundary area between Salem Sound and the ocean, the non-native tunicate Diplosoma listerianum was found in abundance on traps, in addition to B. violaceus and B. schlosseri. Didemnum vexillum rarely occurred on traps, a surprising finding that gives insight into future management of this species.
• Chris McIntyre completed a species evaluation for the rock pool shrimp Palaemon elegans during a summer internship at CZM. The shrimp, native to Europe, was discovered for the first time in North America in summer 2010 during the NEANS-sponsored Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS) for marine invasive species. Potential impacts of P. elegans are uncertain at this time, however it is highly tolerant to variations in salinity and temperature, has a high reproductive rate, and is an opportunistic omnivore, preying on a wide variety of organisms. In 2010 over a hundred individuals were found in the Salem Sound area. Preliminary monitoring in 2011 has not turned up any shrimp as of yet, but MIMIC volunteers, the Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Working Group, and others will be keeping a look out for this species.
• Work continues on reporting results from the 2007 and 2010 RAS. Raw data is currently available to download through MIT Sea Grant’s MITIS database and we hope to have written reports available on the web later this year.
• CZM is working on a 2011 update of Monitoring Marine Invasive Species: Guidance and Protocols for Volunteer Monitoring Groups, the comprehensive guide for the MIMIC program. The update, when completed, will be available on CZM’s Aquatic Invasive Species website.

Comment from Amy Smagula on April 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

New Hampshire Updates for NEANS Panel Meeting
April 2011

Status of Infestations
• 3 new infestations in 2010
o 2 Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) infestations and 1 variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) infestation
• Up to a total of 83 infestations on 76 waterbodies (some waterbodies have as many as six different invasive plants in them)
• Didymo is holding steady with no new waterbodies infested this year. It continues to persist in the Upper +/- 47 miles of river from Lake Francis in Pittsburg through Northumberland in NH. Mohawk Brook, Indian Stream and Halls Brook now have Didymo (all tribs to Connecticut River)

Legislation
• Two bills were proposed to roll back fee increases to 2007 levels for all programs that had fee increases since that year. Exotic Species Program could lose $250,000 in what amounts to grant funds to lake associations and others if these bills become law.
• One bill seeks to prohibit endangered species from precluding exotic plant control activities. We have had some philosophical differences between agencies in NH when it comes to controlling exotic plants like milfoil, with some agencies supporting milfoil growth because it potentially offers habitat for some threatened and endangered species. Bill is being retained in committee pending inter-agency mediation efforts on this and other related issues.

Prevention Activities
• The New Hampshire Lake Host Program continues to expand despite reduced funding. In 2010, the Lake Host Program performed 64,394 courtesy boat and trailer inspections between mid-May and mid-October. A total of 268 exotic species “saves” were recorded on 15 waterbodies, eight of which are currently free from exotic infestations. And, a record-breaking73 organizations (five of which were new to the program this year) participated in the program at 97 ramps.

Early Detection
• One of the two new Eurasian water milfoil infestations in 2010 was an early detection. Limited growth of the plant occurs in the waterbody and diving efforts in 2010, and those planned in 2011, should eradicate the infestation. A ‘safety’ permit application was put in for a fall herbicide treatment, to be done only if needed if for some reason the milfoil population expands beyond the ability of divers to control it.

Write a comment