Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel Forum

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May 2015 meeting roundtable updates

It’s never too early to share your roundtable updates with your peers. Please post your updates here and never hesitate to contact me if I may provide any assistance with your information sharing on this forum.

Thank you,

Michele L. Tremblay

Comments

Comment from Mark Malchoff on November 24, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Mark Malchoff, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, continues his outreach and education work at bass tournaments. There is a new Adirondack Park Agency permit program. There is an LCSG Outreach at several bass tournaments, especially during the July 30 – August 1 FLW Rayovac Series in Plattsburgh. The new Adirondack Park Agency Permits proposed April 23. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is seeking public comment on two general permits to advance New York State’s goal to combat invasive species in the Adirondack Park. The general permits will streamline and expedite the Park Agency’s review process. This will ensure qualified invasive species management organizations have the ability to respond quickly to invasive species infestations. A detailed update posted at http://www.northeastans.org/forum/may-2015-meeting-roundtable-updates
General Permit 2015G-1 is a new general permit proposed to ensure rapid response and containment of aquatic invasive species. This general permit authorizes the use of benthic barriers and hand-harvesting to eliminate or manage up to a half acre of specified aquatic invasive species within an individual waterbody. General Permit 2015G-1 would serve as a new rapid permitting tool to help contain or eradicate newly-discovered infestations of aquatic invasive species. General Permit 2014G-1A is the reissuance of a general permit for the management of terrestrial invasive plant species in or within 100 feet of wetlands in the Adirondack Park. The general permit authorizes qualified users to undertake invasive control activities in terrestrial wetlands using best management practices. Such activities may include the use of herbicides. In addition, the permit includes a provision to expand the list of designated authorized organizations or individuals eligible to use this permit.
The proposed general permits authorize activities in wetlands pursuant to the APA Act (Executive Law §§ 809 and 810) and Freshwater Wetlands Act (ECL Article 24). Both general permits apply to wetlands throughout the Adirondack Park and will remain in effect unless modified or revoked by the APA. The APA, as lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review purposes, has determined that the proposed general permits will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment. The permits contain findings of fact, conclusions of law and conditions to ensure compliance with applicable statutory criteria.
The proposed general permits and related documents are available on the Agency’s website at http://www.apa.ny.gov.
The Adirondack Park Agency will accept public comment on this matter until May 29, 2015. Please direct comments to:
Richard Weber
Deputy Director Regulatory Programs
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Email: PublicComment@apa.ny.gov

3) ADK Park Wide AIS Spread Prevention Program 2015
• $1 million increase in invasive species line of Environmental Protection Fund to support the program
o Voluntary boat cleaning sites equipped with decontamination units.
 Decontamination units will be strategically positioned near boat launches and high traffic roadcorridors
 APIPP is conducting site visits to establish site schematics and work out operational logistics
 PSC AWI will providing staff to operate the units

o The program will be operated on a voluntary basis. Sites include:
1. Speculator – Route 30 pull off
2. Northville – NYSDEC Boat Launch on the Great Sacandaga Lake
3. Okara Lakes – Route 28 pull off
4. Cadyville – Route 3
5. Chateaugay – NYSDEC Boat Launch on Chateaugay Lake
6. Paul Smiths – Intersection of Routes 30 & 86
7. Tupper Lake – Across from NYSDEC boat launch on state route 30
8. South Colton – State Route 56
9. Saranac Lake – Adjacent to Lake Flower NYSDEC boat launch
10. Additional decontamination sites from various funding sources:
11. Clinton/Fine – Route 3
12. Schroon Lake – Horicon Launch
13. Saratoga Lake – OPRHP Launch Site
14. Piseco Lake – Route 8
o Also doubling of the Paul Smiths College Boat Ramp Steward Program, from 35 to 70 seasonal stewards in the Adirondacks

Comment from Isabelle Simard on May 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Québec’s update
• ASIAN CARP CONTROL EFFORTS IN QUEBEC
While efforts to control Asian carp outside of the Great Lakes Basin are not within the scope of the ACRCC and not discussed within the action items of this Framework, they are equally critical to controlling the Asian carp population throughout the United States and Canada and can ultimately impact the efforts taken within the basin. Some of the many efforts being undertaken and the federal and state level are discussed below. For example, outreach tools and materials developed for managing Asian carp in the Great Lakes Basin and provided through the AsianCarp.us website also directly support efforts to manage for the threats of Asian carp species in other watersheds in the United States, including the Upper Mississippi River and Ohio River basins. Additionally, field-based monitoring and rapid response strategies, tactics, and tools being developed through the leadership of the ACRCC and focused on protecting the Great Lakes watersheds may, ultimately, be applicable to managing the threat of Asian carp in other watershed throughout the United States, including those contiguous with the Great Lakes.
In Quebec, the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) is responsible of the conservation and protection of the integrity and health of the biodiversity of aquatic and terrestrial Wildlife. MFFP is also responsible of managing sport fishing activities of freshwater and anadromous fish species. MFFP work in collaboration with other ministries, agencies, governments, jurisdictions, stakeholders and partners to protect, restore, and sustain wildlife habitats and biodiversity. MFFP fulfills these mandates through planning, regulation, enforcement, scientific study, stocking, stewardships and outreach activities.
MFFP is the provincial leading role to prevent introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive animal species. In aquatic ecosystems, the MFFP responsibilities concerns freshwaters habitats included in Inland Waters and parts of the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. MFFP responsibilities also include leadership and coordination of interagency activities to prevent and manage the threat of AIS, development and enforcement of provincial legislation and policy, response planning, monitoring and science, development of management measures and communications/outreach to the public.
• EDNA SAMPLING
eDNA sampling and analyses protocols have been tested since 2013 as a future Ministerial tool for invasive exotic and endangered animal species early detection in aquatic habitats. In 2013, water samples where collected in several zones of the St. Lawrence River freshwater portions, including fluvial lakes (e.g. lakes St-François, St-Louis and St-Pierre). Asian carp where targeted in those analyses as well as other AIS (e.g. Round goby and Tench). In 2014, further development on the eDNA analysis protocol has been made in order to better respond to the St.Lawrence river particularities. The same areas have been sampled. In 2015, MFFP will continue its work on the use of eDNA analyses as an early AIS detection tool.
Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) started the development of eDNA protocols for plants. The will be tested in the St. Lawrence River in 2015.

• RAPID RESPONSE PLAN
An Interministerial rapid response plan on aquatic invasive species is currently being drafted. Four ministries are involved in this plan: three provincial and one federal. The provincial Ministries are the MFFP, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte Contre les Changements Climatiques (MDDELCC), and the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ). The Maurice Lamontagne Institute, part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada ministry’s research centres network, represent the federal entity involved in this plan.
This rapid response plan will help the ministries’ responders to react quickly when new AIS are detected or when an AIS already present is detected in a new area in the St. Lawrence River or inland waters. Asian Carps are among the AIS targeted by the Interministerial rapid response plan. This plan is part of projects elaborated and implemented in the St. Lawrence Action Plan 2011-2016. This action plan pools efforts and resources of multiple departments, ministries and agencies of the governments of Canada and Québec as well as various stakeholders that share common objectives of conservation, restoration, protection and development of the St. Lawrence river and its tributaries.
• ACTION PLAN
An Interministerial Action Plan on exotic invasive species (EIS) is currently being drafted. The two Ministries involved in this plan are the MFFP and the MDDELCC. This action plan will help the ministries’ responders fight effectively against aquatic and terrestrial animal and vegetal EIS in general, prevent their introduction and propagation, acquire more information and make recommendations about conducting risks analyses and outreach activities on EIS. It will also serve to promote collaboration with other jurisdictions and ministries, as well as non-governmental organizations. The Action Plan arises from the Interministerial Strategy on exotic invasive species and will target Asian Carps, as well as other exotic invasive aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants.
Some of the actions targeted by the Action Plan will be: (1) developing a Code of Practice to prevent EIS introduction and propagation during field work; (2) promoting the Code of Practice to external partners and the public in general; (3) putting in place a network of information sharing on EIS; (4) establishing ministerial EIS early detection and surveillance tools; (5) developing environmental and economic risk analyses; (6) evaluating the feasibility of intervention analyses tools on EIS; and (7) developing EIS interventions protocols.
• STRATEGY
An Interministerial Strategy on EIS is currently being drafted. The two Ministries involved in this plan are the MFFP and the MDDELCC. Five issues related to animal and plants EIS and nine orientations compose the Strategy. The Interministerial Strategy will target Asian Carps, as well as other exotic invasive aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants. Prevention of EIS introduction and propagation, EIS surveillance and rapid response are among the issues presented in the Interministerial Strategy. Fostering collaboration and information between governments and agencies, other jurisdictions and non-governments partners, acquisition of new knowledge, public outreach activities and adaptation of the current regulatory framework will be part of the orientations also presented in the Strategy.
• MONITORING: COMMERCIAL FISHERIES
Since 2007, an AIS early detection network, composed of 40 commercial fishermen volunteers, works in collaboration with the MFFP. They declare any exotic, unknown or suspicious fish caught in their nets. The network operates over a 600 km stretch in the St. Lawrence River, and the fish caught are sent to the Ministry’s experts for identification if necessary. The fishermen have been informed and trained to identify Asian carp, among other AIS. They are aware about the risks and the threat that these species represent, and they will immediately contact the Ministry if a specimen is caught in their nets. Since the beginning of this network, two Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensi), one Blueback Herring (Alosa aestivalis), more than 400 Round Gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) and 4600 Tench (Tinca tinca) have been declared to the Ministry by this early detection network.
• MONITORING: FISH BIODIVERSITY SURVEY
Since 1995, a MFFP team, the Fish Monitoring network (FMN), surveys annually different areas of the fresh water part of the St.Lawrence River to monitor fish biodiversity. Their monitoring activities do not target specifically EIS, but when exotic species are capture, the FMN add it to their samples list. Observations of round gobies, tench and common rudd have been made over the years. Results of the FMN monitoring can be viewed on the St. Lawrence Global Observatory Website : http://ogsl.ca/en/

• OUTREACH ACTIVITIES
Many outreach activities have been undertaken by the MFFP over the years. Among others, a poster produced in collaboration with the MDDELCC, with information on boat and gear cleaning to prevent AIS introduction and propagation, as well as on what to do when you want to get rid of pet fish and other aquatic organisms, was made available to municipalities, and general public. Silver and Bighead Carp, as well as Grass and Black Carp are part of the AIS presented during outreach activities as threats to Quebec’s aquatic ecosystems.
• SPORT FISHING AND BOAT CLEANING ACTIVITIES
Outreach activities, targeting sport fishery and anglers, as well as ice fishing activities, was carried out for three years, from 2012 to 2014, to give information on the risk of AIS introduction and propagation by these activities. The outreach activities where conducted by teams leaded by MFFP experts together with nongovernmental partners (such as watershed organizations). These teams where promoting boat and gear cleaning before accessing any body of water. Information was also given on vectors of introduction and propagation (e.g. releasing of live bait, pet fish and other aquatic organisms in the wild), on organisms that can be transported by boats and gear (e.g. fish, plants, eggs, larvae, parasites, pathogens, etc.) and on the Regulation controlling possession, transport, and exploitation of EIS. Threats represented by Asian carp, in general, are part of the information covered during the outreach activities. Even if no Asian carp species are present in Quebec’s water, the great majority of anglers met during these activities where concerned about the possible propagation of Asian carp in the St. Lawrence River and in inland waters.
• MFFP WEBSITE
Information on exotic invasive animal species and their environmental and economic impacts, and instructions on how to prevent their introduction and propagation can be found on the Ministry’s website at http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/faune/especes/envahissantes/index.htm. Specific information on Asian carp is also available at http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/faune/especes/envahissantes/Carps-asiatiques.htm.
• REGULATIONS
Regulatory tools exist in Québec in order to control specific activities that can favor AIS introduction and propagation. These regulations respect the conservation and development of wildlife. The regulations are described below:
Règlement sur l’aquaculture et la vente de poisson (Aquaculture and the sale of fish regulation): Includes a list of prohibited freshwater fish and aquatic species. This regulation prohibits owning as a pet, keeping in captivity, transport, farming, breeding, stock, sale or purchase of live specimen of listed species. The prohibited species are Asian carp (Black, Grass, Silver, Bighead, and Big-scale Silver), all the Channidae family (snakehead fish), non-indigenous eel and sturgeons, Blueback herring, Eurasian ruff, Round and Tubenose gobies, Eurasian perch, Zander, Tench, Wels catfish, Common Rudd, Chinese mitten crab, and Rusty crayfish. In addition, by this regulation, importation of baitfish is also prohibited in the province and there is no ban on the use of invertebrate as bait (e.g. earthworm and leech).
Règlement sur les poissons appâts (Regulation on baitfish): This regulation concerns sport-fishing activities only. Since April 1rst 2013, the use of live baitfish is prohibited in the province during summer season. In 2017, the use of baitfish will no longer be permitted, dead or alive, during the summer season. The use of baitfish during winter time does not fall under this regulation, and is permitted in restricted zones only, including the St. Lawrence River.
• MINISTERIAL ASIAN CARP SCIENTIFIC TASK FORCE
Because of the Asian carp threaten the St. Lawrence River and its watershed, the Ministry established, in summer 2014, an Asian Carp Scientific Committee (ACSC). The ASCS priority is to elaborate an emergency plan on Asian carp where early detection, rapid response, eradication, control and monitoring methods and tools, adapted to the particularities of the St Lawrence and its tributaries will be proposed. The Asian carp emergency plan will help the authorities take advised decisions in regard of preventing and controlling the introduction and propagation of Asian carp in Quebec’s water. Furthermore, as future goals, the ACSC will conduct analysis on the impacts of the presence of Asian carp, on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as on economic activities such as fisheries and tourism, on the implications of hydrological connectivity on the propagation of Asian carp to Inland Waters, and on costs and feasibility of interventions. Collaboration between the ACSC and research facilities, universities, other ministries and jurisdictions will also be encouraged and proposed to the authorities.
• MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT
Quebec province signed, in November 2014, the Mutual Aid Agreement proposed during the 2013 Leaders Summit held in Michigan. The Mutual Aid Agreement was endorsed, may 5th of this year.
• CLIMATE CHANGE EARLY DETECTION AND MONITORING OF EXOTIC PLANTS
MDDELCC is developing early detection and monitoring networks for exotic invasive plants. More than 50 stations were established in 2014 in the southern part and the other stations will be added in 2015 in Gaspesia, Côte-Nord and Abitibi regions.
• MONITORING OF EXOTIC INVASIVE PLANTS IN THE WETLANDS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
Invasive plants in the St. Lawrence wetlands have been monitored since 2008 between Lake Saint-François and Trois-Rivières. Common reed and reed canary grass are the most problematic species. The network will be extended in 2015 to include the Bas-Saint-Laurent area.
• SENTINELLE: AN APP AND A WEB TOOL TO DETECT AN REPORT INVASIVE SPECIES

Sentinelle is a Web base and mobile application for the detection and monitoring tool of exotic invasive species. It is now available for Android and Apple phones and tablets. All the validated data can be downloaded from the web site
http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/biodiversite/especes-exotiques-envahissantes/sentinelle.htm
Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ca.qc.gouv.mddefp.scceee
Apple : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sentinelle/id857973968?l=fr&ls=1&mt=8

Comment from ann bove on May 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

Vermont Update
• SWF Update
o Spread in Lake Champlain and speed of invasion surprised us. Lake Champlain Long-term Monitoring Program got a hit on July 22 2015; on Aug 27 2015, one individual appeared at 1 of 14 LTM sites; more in Sept 2015. By late Oct 2015, SWFs in 12 of 14 sampling sites. See data maps: http://www.watershedmanagement.vt.gov/lakes/docs/lp_2014lcmannualreport.pdf
o Clean, Drain, Dry message holds for this species. Megan Brown, Hobart Williams Smith in Geneva, NY looking at effectiveness of decontamination compounds; found bleach enhanced egg hatching.
o Will launch a pilot decontamination program in 2015. Hope to purchase 3-4 gas powered wash units – high pressure, hot water – for Lake Champlain access stewards for use at high-use accesses and fishing tournaments. Expand program in 2016 to purchase and place more units regionally at in-land sites. Partner with state park staff and public access greeter programs to staff.
• New AIS position
o AIS animal position lost in 2011. 2014 retirement opened up a position that is now designated to AIS animals and spread prevention – including our public access “greeter program.” Josh Mulhollem started two weeks ago. He comes to VT from WY where watercraft inspections mandatory.
o Expect Josh to participate in the Panel and attend next meeting in CT
• New VTANR Terrestrial Invasives Position
o VTANR recently hired a terrestrial invasive species coordinator, Elizabeth Mitchell. We received over 100 applicants. First time in VTANR’s history to dedicate a position to terrestrial invasives. Position housed in VTDFPR. AIS funding contribution in first three years; position will help support seasonal work with volunteers searching and removing by hand water chestnut.
• NECNALMS May 29-30, 2015 in Burlington on waterfront on Lake Champlain. AIS on the agenda – UVM research vessel, the Melosira tour on Lake Champlain, Asian clam, SWF. To learn more about how to register for Friday, Saturday or both days, visit vermontlakes.org
• VT Baitfish regulations: http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/fish_baitfish.cfm

Comment from Nancy Murray on May 7, 2015 at 1:58 pm

The CT General Assembly provided $150,000 to the Department of Energy and Environment for aquatic invasive species control projects. The goal of this program is to conserve the states resources by provided additional resources. The goal is to conserve the states resources by providing additional resources. Seventeen proposals were submitted and 12 proposals were funded. Control work will start this spring. Annual funding would help continue improvements to Connecticut lakes.

Comment from John McPhedran on May 1, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Maine Invasive Aquatic Species Program Update, April 2015
John McPhedran, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Infestation Status

DEP is addressing Maine’s 2014 documented find—Variable leaf water milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) —in 1,400-acre Annabessacook Lake with an invasive plant management plan for marshalling state and community resources for 2015 and beyond. The plan describes the lake’s characteristics and uses, identifies plant control strategies and recommends a monitoring regimen to measure success of control practices. DEP is implementing the plan in close collaboration with Annabessacook Lake Improvement Association, Cobbossee Watershed District and Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed.

Pleasant Hill Pond which hosts Maine’s only Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) population is slated to abut the Eastern Trail, a multi-use greenway ranging from Kittery to South Portland. With federal funding, the town of Scarborough has negotiated with its sole landowner to gain a right of way to route the trail nearby the pond. Portions of the trail within approachable distances to the shoreline will be fenced off to prevent access to or recreation within the 28-acre infested pond. The DEP expressed concern that the otherwise inaccessible pond, a former gravel pit, would become an attractive nuisance if the trail skirted too near the pond. The landowner advocated successfully on DEP’s behalf for 6-foot high fencing, arguing no other lake should endure an infestation as troublesome as Pleasant Hill Pond’s.

Courtesy Boat Inspections

Maine Courtesy Boat Inspections (CBI) in 2014 exceeded 83,000 engagements between trained citizens and boaters on 150 launch sites. The intent of CBIs are to intercept invasive plants and promote awareness to boaters of the importance of inspecting all watercraft before and after entering Maine waters.

CBIs intercepted plants – mostly native – on 2,196 inspections. Of these, 105 invasive plants were found mostly on boats exiting infested waters.

In total, 55 organizations conducted CBIs along with 46 bass clubs at permitted tournaments. A respectable 710 courtesy boat inspectors (paid and volunteer) worked 42,293 hours.

A summary of the 2014 CBI program can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/documents/2014-cbi-summary-report.pdf

Invasive Plant Patrol (IPP)

Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) reports for 2014 that it has now trained 3,700 individuals in plant identification, monitoring protocol or removal techniques. A contractor for DEP’s invasive species program, VLMP offered 16 workshops using state funds and more with other revenue sources. Citizen scientists have proven their worth as shown by the early detection of incipient invasions, thereby reducing control costs and habitat disruption.

Case in point: the 2012 find of hydrilla in 4,400-acre Damariscotta Lake by a freshly trained volunteer has resulted in its continued containment within a .03-acre lagoon. The 2002 find of hydrilla in 52-acre Pickerel Pond was not documented until 60% of littoral areas were found established, costing the state nine years of consecutive herbicide treatments and associated staff time.

DEP Grant activities

Plant Control – The prior legislative session’s authorization to redistribute revenue from boat sticker receipts offers a windfall for plant control projects statewide using techniques such as manual control, benthic barriers and Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting. To maximize effectiveness of these new monies, DEP staff created a competitive application process that comparatively measures project objectives and applicants’ capacities for success. These applications and end-of-season reporting will also serve as benchmarks for future funding requests.

Twenty applicants representing lake stewardship associations vied for available funding; $283, 275 were granted.

Courtesy Boat Inspections – Fifty competitive grant applications for the 2015 season are being processed as of this writing. $120,000 is available for the courtesy boat inspection grants.

In addition to the competitive grants for inspection programs, DEP directed $78,256 to lake associations for courtesy boat inspections on 14 lakes with established invasive aquatic plant infestations. These “direct” grants are intended to reduce the risk of spread from infested Maine waters. The amount of each grant is based on DEP staff’s assessment of the level of risk of spread from each lake.

Outreach

2015 Milfoil Summit – this annual gathering hosted by Lakes Environmental Association and funded by DEP drew a well-attended turnout of invasive species activists and partners. Agency updates, other news from the invasive species front as well as concurrent training sessions on boat inspections and plant monitoring were featured at the late February meeting. One agenda item—a panel discussion on whether infested lakes should be closed to public use—drew little fire and much diplomacy as presenters and the audience exchanged collaborative approaches to managing invasive plants while enjoying public waters.

Thanks for the thank you – This winter DEP staff snail mailed personal handwritten notes of appreciation to hundreds of plant patrol and boat inspection volunteers. It’s a small gesture of DEP’s recognition of their indispensable work. Many wrote and called back, thanking DEP for thanking them.

For those of us in invasive species biz in Maine, we routinely measure social capital quantitatively with volunteer man-hours worked, inspections conducted and acres surveyed. Qualitatively, it is clear to the DEP staff that our state benefits from an abundance of one metric: Maine is rich with citizen passion for its natural resources.

For more information, please check DEP’s website http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/
or email milfoil@maine.gov.

Comment from Amy Smagula on April 6, 2015 at 11:43 am

New Hampshire Updates
Prepared by Amy P. Smagula, NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) Limnologist/Exotic Species Program Coordinator

Like in many states, winter is a time that is spent wrapping up last growing season’s projects and using that information to plan for the next growing season, including types of projects and grants to fund those projects, and updating Long-Term Management Plans for infested waterbodies. Much time is also spent at the legislature, working on bills that may have been introduced relative to exotic aquatic species issues. These items will be the focus of this update.

Legislative Update:
The 2014-2015 legislative session started off as very busy for the Exotic Species Program. Three bills were proposed this session, as summarized below:

HB 281- An act defining “exotic aquatic species of wildlife” and relative to the duties of the exotic aquatic weeds and species committee. The bill seeks to include wildlife as a topic in the EAWS committee (a standing legislative study committee which serves to bring legislators, state agency staff and key public members together to discuss exotic aquatic species issues in New Hampshire), and to expand the duties of the committee. The bill passed the House and it is now in the Senate. We expect the bill to pass and ultimately be adopted, as it has wide bi-partisan support.

HB 565- An act relative to banning the use of boats on certain waters with a confirmed exotic aquatic species infestation. This bill looked to create a quarantine provision if/when a waterbody wide infestation of an exotic aquatic species occurred. There is currently a provision for a “Restricted Use Area” on waterbodies with infestations in state law and in administrative rule, and until further discussions can be had about the logistics, costs and implications of a quarantine can be had, the bill was deemed Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) by the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee. While a quarantine provision may be useful down the road, there were too many questions lingering about implementation, impacts and other very important elements that require further discussion before a resolution to move forward can be made.

HB 667- An act relative to aquatic invasive species and authorizing a program to inspect boats for the presence of aquatic invasive species. This bill would have created a mandatory inspection program for all participants in permitting boating events, like fishing tournaments, boat regattas, sailboat races, etc. This bill raised concerns among state agencies relative to jurisdictions, authorities, penalties and enforcement, and it further raised concerns among anglers and other recreational users of waterbodies, who participate in boating events. Because of these concerns the bill was voted ITL in the Resources, Recreation and Development Committee of the House. In an effort to keep the educational component of the bill alive, the three agencies under which the jurisdiction of permitting and exotic species falls (Department of Safety, Marine Patrol and Fish and Game for permitting, and Department of Environmental Services for education/outreach/management) worked together to develop an information card to educate boating event participants about the problem of exotic aquatic species, and to guide them in a self-inspection of their gear. Fish and Game and Safety also began sharing databases about event participants, so as to identify gaps in permitting, and to identify the most appropriate way of informing these participants about the problem of exotic aquatic species. These informational cards will now be sent to all event participants who obtain permits for their event, and they will then disseminate the cards to event participants. This effort will be tracked over the 2015 boating season as a pilot program.

There were no bills seeking a fee increase to supplement program funding this year. In the 2013-2014 session legislation was passed to increase boat registration fees by $1.50/boat, to directly increase funds for control activities.

Control Projects for 2015 Growing Season:
The number and variety of control practices have increased in New Hampshire over the years, as they have in many states, with an increased effort to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach at management. Routinely, most waterbodies in New Hampshire now have not only a very active pre- and post-management monitoring and mapping program going on, but also a variety of control methods used each year to track and manage, and ultimately fund.

This means that increased number of requests for grant funds and increased costs of combined projects overall, relative to grant funds available to award. Specifically, DES received requests for 43 control projects, totaling $1.2 million for 2015, with only about $200,000 available in control grant funds to award in 2015. And, like mentioned above, DES did receive additional funds in 2014 for control actions, the legislation went into place on January 1, 2015, and therefore those funds are not budgeted or available for the 2015 grant cycle (we cannot spend it before we accrue it, and grants are awarded in winter, and revenues come in mostly in spring and summer through boat registrations). As such, these funds will be available for 2016 grants. As a result DES had to reduce grant match levels to a 25% grant award (in recent years 40% match or up to 50% match was awarded), with local entities such as lake associations and local governments picking up the balance of the costs in 2015. Fortunately local funds were available, so a majority of the projects will be going forward in 2015.

For each infested waterbody, a waterbody specific Long-Term Management Plan is created (and updated annually) to put the infestation(s) in context for each waterbody, to identify waterbody-specific characteristics, and to recommend an adaptive management approach for a 5-year interval. Plans contain the following sections/information:

• A purpose statement
• An overview of the problem statewide and in the subject waterbody
• Goals and objectives of a control project
• Local support in terms of action and funding (town, municipal, association, etc)
• Waterbody characteristics including biological, chemical and ecological (the latter including an evaluation of rare, threatened and endangered species (RTE))
• Designated uses of the waterbody
• Evaluation of the macrophyte community of the waterbody
• Identification of wells and water supplies in the vicinity of subject waterbody
• Summary of historic control activities at the site
• Review of exotic species management options, and recommendations for each, based on a feasibility review by staff biologists
• 5-year recommendations for control, including recommendations for prevention and early detection actions for the subject waterbody
• Various maps showing infestation(s) over time, historical and proposed control actions, access sites, plant map, bathymetric map, RTE map, and wells and water supply map.
Approximately 95% of the infested waterbodies (of which there are 79) in New Hampshire have a plan developed for them by DES. Plans are used locally to help inform local residents about the problem and actions that will be taken to address the problem, and to leverage local dollars towards control actions. Plans also help with the permitting process, in that many of the concerns relative to rare, threatened and endangered species have been discussed and vetted with other agencies in the writing of the plan, and Best Management Practices are developed to help limit impacts to those and other non-target species (including control timeframe, herbicide selection, setback from nesting areas, etc).

The good news is that these IPM projects are working, and most waterbodies in New Hampshire that have active on-going projects, guided by Long-Term Management Plans, are showing sustained reductions of exotic aquatic plants. Much credit needs to be given to trained “Weed Watchers” who volunteer their time to survey for invasive species in their waterbodies each month during the growing season, and who report new growth or regrowth to DES quickly, so that control actions are timely and appropriate, to keep infestations from creeping back up to high density/large acreage infestations. Many thanks also need to be given to the various contractors/consultants working in the field of aquatic plant management. Their open-mindedness about approaches and their constant evaluation of new and changing products and technologies really help stay on top of infestations and help to keep reducing densities and coverages of the exotic aquatic plants. It really does take a partnership of multiple entities!

Comment from Meg Modley on April 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

Lake Champlain Basin Program Spring 2015 Update:
Conference: IAGLR (International Association of Great Lake’s Research) Conference Burlington, VT May 26-29th http://iaglr.org/
-LCBP working on an economic impact study of AIS to Lake Champlain
– LCBP will hire 10 boat launch stewards for the 2015 field season. Possible purchase of 1 portable boat wash
– LCBP working with partners on an Adirondack Regional Boat Steward, Inspection, and Decontamination strategy. White paper http://adkinvasives.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Boat_Inspection_Decontamination_Adirondack_Recommendations_March-2014_.pdf
– 14 new local implementation grants awarded for AIS spread prevention to local lake associations in the Lake Champlain Basin – mostly boat stewardship programs and AIS management (Eurasian water milfoil, yellow iris, European frogbit, water chestnut).

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