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November 2012 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 Andrea Locke on November 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Marine update for Atlantic Canada – Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Fall 2012

This seems to have been a big year for range expansions of existing species, and a couple of new reports for Atlantic Canada. The tunicates Ciona intestinalis, Ascidiella aspersa, Botryllus schlosseri, and Styela clava all spread into new areas, as did the green crab Carcinus maenas and the oyster thief Codium fragile. Many of these expansions were such that they could not have been by natural spread from existing populations.

We are tracking recent invasions in Kouchibouguac National Park, NB. A single green crab was found there last year; and this year there were so many that local eel fishermen had to move their nets from the estuary into fresh water. Then, Park staff found Codium last week. These recent invasions are unfortunate from the point of view of the biodiversity reserve function of the Park, but positive from an invasive species research perspective. We have a fantastic 20-year baseline dataset against which to monitor changes in the diversity and ecosystem function in the park.

Another piece of good news is that the tunicate Didemnum vexillum still does not seem to have spread into NB from Eastport, ME.

First records in Atlantic Canada – Dr. Gary Saunders of the University of New Brunswick has found the orange-striped sea anemone Diadumene lineata in southern NB and the red alga Heterosiphonia japonica in southeastern NS waters. It remains to be seen if these will successfully overwinter and establish.

There have been a number of changes to the federal Fisheries Act and other legislation this year, but the awaited changes with respect to invasive species are still in progress. DFO Science is assisting with is the development of criteria for ‘listing’ species. It is expected that the new regulations will include lists of species that (a) should not enter the country, or (b) are already in Canada but should not be moved around. It is expected that all vectors will be included. Criteria for freshwater taxa are to be peer-reviewed in a few months, and the marine criteria are starting to be worked on. There is also a national-level risk assessment of ballast water underway, and we are in the final year of data collection for a national-level risk assessment of recreational boating.

With the increased focus on the boating vector, we had the opportunity to improve our educational signage at boat ramps and marinas. A collaboration between DFO, the province of PEI, and the PEI Aquaculture Association had previously placed signs at many sites in PEI. This year we expanded that campaign into NS and NB.

Overall, it’s been a busy year with lots of changes. On a personal note, I am also in transition to a new home on the west coast although I will continue to be employed with DFO in NB for at least the next few months. This will be my last NEANS. It’s been a pleasure working with you all over the past decade, and I hope to stay in touch. Although I am not able to attend this meeting in person, I will be thinking of you. – All the best, Andrea.

Comment from Nancy Balcom on November 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Connecticut Sea Grant continued its 2011 outreach and education program focused on coastal boaters and anglers through 2012. Coast Guard Auxiliary members conducting voluntary vessel inspections along the coast shared brief “Don’t Dump Bait” and “Keep Hulls Clean” messages (and promotional key chains, stickers, etc.) with boaters and anglers. Several bait shops applied “Don’t Dump Bait” stickers to bait boxes at point of sale. Signs were posted at boat ramps, marinas and bait shops. A student conducted open -ended surveys with boaters and anglers at coast access points in southwestern Connecticut, to ascertain their level of awareness of AIS, to determine what they do with unused live bait and bait packing materials at the end of a trip, to determine if they know how to avoid transporting AIS during their boating / angling activities, whether they were familiar with any of the messages / materials of the outreach campaign, and what their reaction was to these types of messages. The data for the two years is currently being evaluated and will be reported at the 18th International Conference on AIS in Niagara, Ontario next April. It appears that the second year of effort led to greater familiarity with the outreach messages and materials.
Connecticut Sea Grant continues to collaborate with Connecticut Dept. Energy and Environmental Protection to implement the Connecticut ANS Management Plan. Through a Cooperative Agreement with DEEP, Sea Grant was able to hire a part-time program coordinator to help achieve specific aspects of the plan. Through a second Cooperative Agreement with DEEP, Sea Grant will partner with researchers from UCONN and SERC to gather data on the lightbulb tunicate, Clavelina lepidiformis, to inform future attempts to eradicate the tunicate from Stonington Harbor.

Comment from Karen Hahnel on November 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

Maine Invasive Aquatic Species Program Update, October 2012
John McPhedran, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Infestation Status: One “new” infestation, hydrilla hangs tough, local groups hold line on variable milfoil

Ossipee River (Parsonsfield and Porter) is Maine’s only newly documented infestation for 2012. The species, variable-leaf water milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum or VLM), was confirmed just over the border with New Hampshire. The find was not a total surprise; VLM is documented upstream in NH and downstream in Saco River, but hadn’t been found in the Maine reach of the Ossipee until this summer. The infestation was reported by Laurie Callahan of York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project (see brief project summary below).

Pickerel Pond (Limerick) could have been one for the record books. After nine consecutive years of herbicide treatment and two years (2010 and 2011) without detection of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) initially detected in 2002, one hydrilla plant was found by DEP SCUBA divers in late summer 2012. This find could be the 46-acre pond’s one and only hydrilla plant or one representing dozens undetected by the dive survey. With the help of York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project and motivated volunteers residing on Pickerel Pond and other area lakes, DEP is optimistic a strong local monitoring effort will grow to keep an eye on hydrilla growth in the pond.

Damariscotta Lake (Jefferson) hosts hydrilla in two locations: 1) a 0.3-acre lagoon quarantined with rip rap barriers from the rest of the 4686-acre lake and 2) a feeding tributary several miles north of the lagoon. Hydrilla was first discovered in Damariscotta Lake in 2009.

Control efforts within the lagoon successfully suppressed growth save for a few plants left uncovered by benthic barriers deployed in 2011. No outlier plants have been detected beyond the lagoon.

Hydrilla proved elusive in the tributary, however, as two new plants were found to have migrated downstream towards Damariscotta Lake while original hydrilla colonies discovered in the stream in 2011 responded to control efforts as well as expected. DEP staff and Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association staff and volunteers undertook frequent and routine monitoring, manual removal and benthic barrier suppression of hydrilla within the boat-free zone declared by DEP and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for the 2012 open water season.

Salmon Lake (Belgrade) continues to show promise. Two SCUBA surveys of Salmon Lake’s Kozy Cove in 2012 by DEP divers with supporting surveillance by local residents found no Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum or EWM) since treating the 6-acre cove with herbicide in September 2009. DEP biologists expect and are prepared for this milfoil species to reemerge. EWM was first detected in Salmon Lake in 2008.

Great Meadow Stream/Great Pond’s (Belgrade and Rome) infestation of variable milfoil met an aggressive diver-assisted suction harvest program coordinated by the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance (BRCA) and Belgrade Lakes Association. This infestation was confirmed in 2010. Plant surveys of other areas of Great Pond by BRCA discovered outlier plants of variable milfoil that will be managed with manual removal and benthic barriers. The Surface Use Restriction authorized by Maine Departments of Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was extended to prohibit all watercraft until year’s end.
Public outreach for 2012

In spring Maine DEP declared 2012 “the Year of the Boater Self-Inspection.” Subsequent press activities generated news stories on this theme. Also, the DEP Commissioner’s office produced this video now posted on the front page of the DEP website: http://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/.

Regional invasive species prevention effort in southern Maine

The York County Invasive Aquatic Species Project (YCIASP), sponsored by the York County Soil and Water Conservation District, has existed since 2004 on the strength of grant funds in six of those years. Funding through the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund supported the project for 2012.

YCIASP provides volunteers with skills and tools to become active in invasive aquatic species prevention, early detection and rapid response efforts in York County. The project has arranged plant surveys on York County lakes, co-hosted Invasive Plant Patrol workshops with Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, and conducted presentations at lake association meetings.

The 2012 edition of YCIASP focused on three York County rivers. With the help of other volunteers, project coordinator Laurie Callahan covered previously un-surveyed reaches of these rivers. See http://www.yorkswcd.org/invasive%20aquatic.htm for more information.

DEP Grants support local prevention and control programs

DEP awarded $95,000 in competitive grants to lake associations and municipalities for boat inspection programs on uninfested lakes. An additional $75,000 was funded directly to lake associations for boat inspections on infested lakes. The amount granted to each infested lake is based on risk of spread to nearby uninfested waters. A summary of boat inspections for 2012 will be available by mid-winter 2012-13.

Further, DEP awarded $75,000 in competitive grants to lake associations working to manage infestations of invasive aquatic plants. Local and regional lake groups conduct the lion’s share of plant removal, using manual removal, diver-assisted suction harvest and benthic barrier deployment on lakes infested with variable-leaf water milfoil and curly leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus).

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

—30—

Comment from Adrienne Pappal on November 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

Fall 2012 Marine update from Massachusetts

-We had another busy season of volunteer monitoring, with ten partners monitoring close to fifty sites across the northeast. We are in the process of compiling this year’s data and will have it available on the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS) http://www.mass.gov/czm/mapping/index.htm when it has been reviewed.

-With funds remaining from the 2010 Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS), we worked with NEANS to subcontract a taxonomist to survey and track the spread of non-native crustaceans, most notably Palaemon elegans and Palaemon macrodactylus in the northeast. Results of the survey are pending. Two training workshops were also held to assist citizen scientists and others to identify these species.

-We are also keeping track of the non-native bryozoan, Tricellaria inopinata, first found in Woods Hole in 2010 – it has now been recorded in Boston Harbor and Gloucester Harbor.

-CZM has been working on a final data report for the 2010 RAS which we hope to have completed and up on the web by early next year.

-Plans are underway for another RAS in August of 2013; we have received interest from the majority of past participating taxonomists and are working on a funding proposal and early logistics.

-We have been looking more at the issue of seaweed management after a significant number of blooms occurred this spring and summer, including non-native species. We are in the process of evaluating the red algae Heterosiphonia japonica, and are working on best management practice recommendations for cities and towns to manage both native and non-native seaweed blooms.

Comment from Cynthia Boettner on November 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

Connecticut River Watershed Invasives Control (VT, NH, MA, CT)
The 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed will benefit from an $85,000 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant awarded to the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NRWA) and numerous partners for 2012-2013. The NRWA is joining with Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and multiple federal, state, and private organizations to further invasive species partnerships and their activities at the local and full watershed levels.
In the Headwaters, Ottauquechee, Upper White, Westfield, Upper Farmington, and Eightmile River watersheds, six cooperative invasive species management area (CISMA) partnerships are working on public outreach, inventory and on-the-ground invasive plant control. Covering more than 1 ½ million acres of earth and waters, the CISMAs will strategically plan for the most important work to undertake in these watersheds.

At the full watershed scale, an interstate Leadership Initiative led by numerous invasive species experts in New England, including representatives of each CISMA, will enable networking among the various groups and provide a larger landscape-based vision. Partners seek to coordinate with other statewide invasive species initiatives in existence. Outcomes from the Leadership Initiative will include:
• webcasts and email newsbriefs to provide CISMA with current information and enable networking and the sharing of information
• a preliminary protocol for effective early detection and rapid response
• Train-the-Trainer workshops to effectively garner more support for early detection
• recommendations for priority areas for management and potential new CISMAs so as to protect the most important natural areas

Together, the Leadership Team and CISMAs will provide a network that will be better equipped to prioritize invasive plant control actions and plan and implement early detection and rapid response to new invaders to the watershed.

For information about this program, contact:
Cynthia Boettner, Coordinator
Invasive Plant Control Initiative
Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
103 E. Plumtree Rd.
Sunderland, MA 01375
Phone: 413-548-8002 ext. 115
FAX: 413-548-9725
Email: Cynthia_Boettner@fws.gov

Comment from Isabelle Simard, MDDEFP on November 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm

The Wildlife branch (Faune Québec) of the Ministry of natural Resources and Wildlife (MRNF) has been merged with the Ministry of sustainable Development, Environement and Parks, which is a great thing for our invasives species programs. We are working on the monitoring the Asian clam infestation in the Gentilly powerplant area in the St. Lawrence River; an early detection network in the St. Lawrence River; education and outreach material and training for sport fishermen. The Regulation respecting aquaculture and the sale of fish (R.R.Q., c. C-61.1, r. 7) has been modified to prohibit the possession of 18 live AIS (including Asian Carps) and to prohibit the import of fish for their use as bait. We are pursuing the waterchestnut eradication program in the Montérégie area. The abundance of water chestnut has significantly decreased since the beginng of the program in 2001. However, new infestation locations have been detected in the southwestern part of the province. We are working with conservation groups on the monitoring of invasive plants in the wetlands of the St. Lawrence River.

Comment from Leslie Surprenant on November 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Update from NY

Any out of state travel requires Governor’s office approval; I am not likely to make it to the fall meeting because this approval has not been granted as of COB Wed 11/21/12.

NY’s AIS news in a nutshell:

NY has a new non-native species listing law that requires Dept of Environmental Conservation jointly develop with NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets lists of prohibited and regulated species by 1 Sept 2013. NY Invasive Species Coordination office is leading the project. The process was developed and made public in the NY IS Council’s 2012 Report on A Regulatory System for Non-native Species http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/invasive062910.pdf
DEC released a RFQs to solicit bids to conduct paired ecological risk assessments and socio-economic assessments for non-native animals and plants.

NY released 4 RFPs to administer the 4 unfunded Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) which will bring NY to having 8 PRISMs fully cover all of the state’s geography.

NY developed EPA Vessel General Permit conditions for ballast water – more information at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/79079.html

Hydrilla news: Control effort continued under Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and NYS funding in 2012 at Cayuga Lk Inlet. The treatment protocol was developed and subject to a peer review of nationwide experts. Treatment was an initial dose of Enodthall and a long-term drip of fluridone during the growing season. Pellet form fluridone was applied in shallow water and other areas where the drip fluridone would not reach.
A new infestation of hydrilla was discovered in early Sept in the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, NY, just upstream from the Niagara River by Mike Goehle (USFWS). It was confirmed at the NY Hydrilla Symposium held in Syracuse, NY a few days later. A RR team formed and a strike team delimited the infestation, surveying 42 Miles of shore and finding ~ 13 miles of the canal with varying densities of hydrilla. A management subgroup is investigating treatment options and will propose next steps. A critical need is for a lead organization to accept the role of obtaining regulatory permits and leading the treatment project.

In November, an environmental consultant reported finding 3 small ponds infested with hydrilla near Binghampton.

The NE Hydrilla Symposium, organized by US ACOE was held in Syracuse, NY in mid-Sept. Rob Richardson, NEANS hydrilla lit search researcher, presented his findings at this conference. This was his interim contract deliverable.

Boat steward programs and monitoring for AIS expanded into the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes region under GLRI funding and will continue to grow again next year.

Comment from Amy Smagula on November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

New Hampshire Updates- Fall 2012
Prepared by Amy Smagula, NH Department of Environmental Services (DES)

Prevention and Early Detection:
Summer 2012 prevention and early detection activities were in high gear. The Lake Host Program, which is coordinated by the New Hampshire Lakes Association, with funding from DES, yielded a total of 138 ‘saves’ where exotic plants were removed from transient boats and related equipment during courtesy boat inspections this season. Most plants that were found were fanwort (primarily out of one lake in the program that is heavily infested ) and variable and Eurasian water milfoils.

Early detection activities were expanded as DES trained several new Weed Watcher groups around the state, and performed refresher trainings for groups that had expanded.

It is heartening to know that, so far, no waterbody in New Hampshire that has the two-tier approach at prevention (Lake Host) and early detection (Weed Watchers) has been added to the list of infested waters in the state. We have had some close calls though. In July, Crescent Lake in Acworth, NH had a boat launch in that had previously been in Candlewood Lake in Connecticut. The Lake Host was just coming on duty and had not inspected the boat. After the boat pulled away from the launch the Lake Host checked the nearshore area and found fragments of Eurasian water milfoil floating in the lake. The Lake Host removed all the pieces he could find (and had them verified by DES), and then made the call to all Weed Watchers on the lake and had them step up their activities through the summer, in case a fragment drifted away and settled. DES just performed an end of season survey on the waterbody and thankfully found no Eurasian milfoil in the lake, but cautioned the residents to continue their vigilance through the next growing season to be sure.

New Infestations and Rapid Response:
Two new infestations were documented in New Hampshire this summer, both variable milfoil, in small lakes in the southern tier of the state. Both lakes had infestations nearby in other waterbodies. Unfortunately neither of these were finds that could be successfully contained and managed via a rapid response initiative, as both infestations were well-established when reported by local residents or lake visitors.

The two new infestations that were documented (Otter Lake in Greenfield and Naticook Lake in Merrimack) were on waterbodies without established programs for prevention and early detection, so they went unnoticed. In Naticook Lake the cove where the boat launch area is located had growth across much of the cove, and milfoil was starting to extend down one shoreline, in the direction of flow towards the outlet. In Otter Lake the milfoil had already creeped around much of the shoreline of the lake.

With these two new additions, New Hampshire now has a total of 78 infested waterbodies, most containing variable milfoil as the primary invasive plant, while others have fanwort, Eurasian water milfoil, water chestnut and Didymo (also known as rock snot, an invasive algae), among other common species. This tally includes 67 lakes and ponds and 11 river systems.

As I am sure many of our NEAPMS members noticed, with the early ice out this year and good growing conditions, exotic species growth was more pronounced and rapid.

Interestingly Didymo in New Hampshire this year was lower in density and magnitude in river systems infested with this alga. Reports were few and far between of it’s presence as a mat, and no new Didymo infestations were documented. A professor at Dartmouth College is scoping several projects on Didymo in the upper reaches of the Connecticut River. He has done much work out in the western part of the United States on Didymo populations, and it will be nice to have more data and documentation of infestations in New Hampshire and how they are manifesting and factoring into the ecology of the river system.

Funding:
No changes to program funding occurred over the summer, though many towns and interested parties have made contact with state legislators in New Hampshire to request legislation to increase program funding for exotic plant control activities. The integrated approach at management does work well, however it is more expensive as a number of techniques are employed through the growing season to continue to whittle away at infestations.

A standing exotic aquatic weeds and species legislative study committee is scoping the potential to enact a sticker bill in New Hampshire, similar to that in Maine, to try to increase state revenues from out of state boaters visiting New Hampshire (there is an estimated count of 50,000 or more out of state boaters that visit New Hampshire’s waters during the boating season). A “sticker bill” has been attempted three times in the past in New Hampshire, and the bill was killed each time, though the last time it made it through the house and was only held up in the senate.

Grants
• Prevention grant to the NH Rivers Council to perform outreach, education and monitoring activities related to exotic aquatic plants in river systems in New Hampshire, including monitoring for didymo
• Prevention grant to the NH Lakes Association to implement the Lake Host Program
• Research grant to Aquatic Control Technology, Inc. to evaluate the efficacy and non-target impacts of Clipper (aquatic herbicide) in the Mine Falls Pond area of the Nashua River

NPDES Permitting:
NPDES permitting requirements did not appear to cause any major problems with projects going forward this summer, which is a relief!

Hydrilla
With the increased discussion of hydrilla in the northern tier, New Hampshire lake residents are increasingly more concerned about the potential for infestations in this state. During Weed Watcher trainings and other meetings across the state, hydrilla specimens were on display, and information about surveying for and reporting any new growths were conveyed. We have begun asking volunteers to send in anything “hydrilla-like” for a double-check by DES biologists. So far all specimens submitted have turned out to be native elodea species, but we’ll keep looking and hoping it’s not here yet…and that we don’t get it.

Not A Plant
This spring, DES and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department developed a fact sheet on the Asian clam and distributed it across the state. Unfortunately it turned into a “look and you shall find” scenario, as several lake associations did reporting having the clam in their waterbodies. The final tally is not in as field verifications are still needed for some sites, but we do know they have a foothold in New Hampshire.

NH is going to look at assessing the Asian clam population in NH through volunteer networks in 2013.

Comment from ann bove on November 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Fall 2012 Update from Vermont (Bove)

New Finds: Two new confirmations of an invasive aquatic plant were documented this season; both species were already known from the state. One new brittle naiad (Najas minor) water was confirmed, 839-acre Waterbury Reservoir in Waterbury and Stowe, bringing the total number of known lakes with populations of this species to eight.* Water chestnut was found at one new site: 1,469 rosettes were found and removed from Shad Island near the mouth of the Missisquoi River in Lake Champlain.

Only 3% of Vermont’s water bodies confirmed with an invasive aquatic plant are considered “heavy” populations. The majority of these are currently considered “light” or scattered areas of growth in limited areas, and either the result of successful local control efforts or detection soon after introduction.
* In two of these six water bodies, declines of brittle naiad have been noted.

Japanese Knotweed Effort Follows 2011 Flooding: In an effort to eradicate new infestations of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the resulting remediation efforts, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources hired an individual to coordinate volunteer-initiated mechanical control efforts. Emphasis was placed on the east central portion of the state. The coordinator successfully engaged many local river and other volunteer groups to find and remove newly established populations of knotweed throughout the state.

Didymo population monitoring: No new rivers with didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) infestations were discovered in 2012. Only one nuisance bloom was reported; the bloom was noted at limited sites in the Batten Kill in June.

Water chestnut control occurred in all 23 water bodies confirmed with this invasive aquatic plant. Most of the sites are small and located on the western side of the state within the Lake Champlain Basin. After the extremely high water levels of 2011, water chestnut populations rebounded in 2012 at a number of sites where significant reductions had been noted in 2011. Handpulling continued to be the main control method used at most water chestnut sites. Dense water chestnut populations are now limited to the southern reaches of Lake Champlain only and managed with mechanical harvesting. All water chestnut spoils are composted on area farms.

Variable-leaved watermilfoil Management: Control and search efforts continued on Vermont’s first variable-leaved watermilfoil population in Halls Lake in Newbury, confirmed in 2008. The response to date is highly successful: although the tally of variable-leaved watermilfoil plants removed since 2008 is over 57 cubic feet, only one variable-leaved plant was found and subsequently removed in 2012. Contracted suction harvesting of Vermont’s second population in Missisquoi Bay, Lake Champlain was postponed due to extensive spread resulting from high floodwaters in 2011.

Aquatic Animal Species Population Monitoring: Eighteen inland lakes deemed vulnerable to zebra mussel establishment, and one river (Connecticut), were monitored for zebra mussel veligers using plankton net sampling during summer 2012. Results of microscopic examination of these samples are not yet available. Known zebra mussel populations in Vermont remain confined to Lake Champlain and Lake Bomoseen.

State Aquatic Invasive Species Grants: $460,000 from a portion of state motorboat registration funds and federal Army Corps of Engineer monies supported 37 municipal aquatic invasive species projects this year: 27 Eurasian watermilfoil control projects, 13 of which also included a boat access area “greeter” program in cooperation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife or local partners; and 10 spread prevention projects, all of which included public boat access area “greeter” programs.

The Department provided Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Wardens and Department of Public Safety (State Police) with grant funds to support supplemental officer hours at water body access points. Officers provide education and enforcement of Vermont’s aquatic plant, zebra and quagga mussel transport law, and Vermont’s new (April 1, 2011) felt-soled wader prohibition.
Changes to Vermont’s Invasive Plant Quarantine Rule: In February, Vermont’s Invasive Plant Quarantine Rule #3 was amended to prohibit the sale and movement/distribution of Norway maple (Acer platanoides), Amur maple (Acer ginnala), burning bush (Euonymous alatus), Japanese and common barberries (Berberis thunbergii and B. vulgaris), yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus), and European naiad (Najas minor). These species are recognized as invasive in Vermont or adjacent States. The impacts of these plant species on native ecosystems outweigh their value as ornamental plants in the nursery and landscaping trades to the extent that the Agency of Agriculture has banned their sale in an effort to prevent their introduction into as yet uninfected areas, or slow their further spread across the state through commerce.

Lake Champlain Cooperative Boat Wash Initiative: The Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation partnered with car wash stations in Vermont and New York to connect boaters to pressure washing facilities for their boats, trailers and other equipment. Ten car wash stations participated in 2012.

Statewide Public Access Greeter Program: All 23 existing greeter programs in the state received new program tools this year – “Greeter on Duty” sandwich board signs with aquatic invasive species identification and spread prevention information and greeter-identifying t-shirts. Greeter program feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive for these new tools.

Volunteer Invasive Patrollers (VIPs): Twenty-eight VIPs submitted 47 aquatic invasive species surveys for 14 of Vermont’s lakes. No new invasive species infestations were reported.

The Lake Champlain Basin Rapid Response Task Force is charged with implementing and overseeing rapid response actions in the Basin. 2012 activities included conducting risk assessments for spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) in the Lake Champlain Canal system and Lake George in NY, and evaluating VTDEC’s response to the confirmation of brittle naiad (Najas minor) in Waterbury Reservoir in VT.

Emergency Rapid Response General Permit: A Vermont emergency general permit was authorized in February 2011. This general permit allows the commissioners of the departments of Environmental Conservation, and Fish and Wildlife to seek coverage for rapid response to a new invasive species invasion. To date, extended coverage has been granted to the Department of Environmental Conservation for diver operated suction harvesting of variable-leaved watermilfoil in Missisquoi Bay, Lake Champlain. Staff from both departments met in July with VT Department of Health risk assessment personnel to continue discussions related to pesticides that might be used in an emergency and the emergency general permit process.

Comment from Moderator on October 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Dear NEANS Panelists and ANS friends,

Thank you for posting your organization’s updates here so that the round table session is shorter and you have more time for valuable discussions. Posting your updates here also enables your colleagues whom could not participate in the meeting to see yours and for you to see theirs.

Thank you,

Michele L. Tremblay

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