December 2019 meeting 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

9 thoughts on “December 2019 meeting updates”

  1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
    Coastal Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring Program Update (December 2019)

    – Ongoing standardized marine biofouling monitoring for AIS using PVC plate collectors at many ports and marinas within the Atlantic Region (NL, NS, NB, PEI and Quebec). Some of these DFO Atlantic AIS biofouling monitoring data are available (Quebec and Gulf Regions) via Open Data platforms such as SLGO (, DFO Open Data Gulf Region (, and DFO Open Data Maritimes Region ( See National DFO AIS website ( for information on each AIS found in Canada. Each of the 4 DFO Regions within the Canadian Atlantic is working closely with provincial agencies, academia, and NGOs to monitor for novel AIS.

    – Newly published research from Quebec Region suggests ocean temperatures does not limit the establishment and rate of secondary spread of coffin box bryozoan (Membranipora membranacea) in the northwest Atlantic [Denley et al. (2019), Aquatic Invasions 14(4): 594–614,

    – A DFO National Science Advisory Process is currently underway to estimate the pathway-level introduction risk posed by the aquarium, water garden, and live food trades in Canada.

  2. Judith Pederson
    December 11, 2019

    We completed our 2019 Southern New England Rapid Assessment Survey by visiting marinas in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York (including Long Island Sound). We examined native and non-native species on floating docks, validated the species in the laboratory and are currently analyzing our data, preparing our final report and developing outreach materials. Preliminary data suggest that ~160 native and non-native species were found of which 24 were non-native.

    Carolina Bastidas and I are collaborating with a student from U. MassBoston to examine the suitability of artificial substrate (courtesy of the Nature Conservancy) for settlement of bivalves, especially oysters. The data have not been analyzed, but it does not appear to favor bivalve settlement.

  3. New Hampshire is working on consolidating the lists of prohibited and watch species that we have. Right now different agencies are responsible for different taxa, and each maintains a list for species under their prevue. There is interest in combining the lists for educational purposes, for quick reference and ease of finding information. This will not change the agency jurisdictions, it will just be for education purposes. This will include invasive aquatic plants (NHDES), invasive aquatic animals (Fish and Game), terrestrial plants (NH Dept of Ag) and insects (Dept of Ag and Division of Forests and Lands).
    NHDES is partnering with Alison Watts at UNH for an extension of the eDNA work that was done in 2019. Alison is pursuing a Water Resources Research Center grant for more eDNA work, with this project looking to evaluating fish-hook and spiny water flea, Chinese mystery snail, and hydrilla. Grant awards should be announced soon, so we know if this project will be going forward.
    We will hopefully have a quiet legislative year this year, no LSRs were put forward. There has been some discussion about how to address invasive aquatic animals (currently under Fish and Game) in a better fashion in New Hampshire. We did a state by state evaluation of AIS animal programs, and will be evaluating possible program models that may need legislative backing and funding sources in future legislative sessions.
    In terms of new infestations, New Hampshire had two new Najas minor and one new Corbicula infestation in 2019. We also had a report of Aldrovanda vesiculos (waterwheel) in the state, which is of some concern to the region, though it is not a prohibited species in NH at this time. It was found in a wetland complex in Southern NH. Interestingly, there was much chatter about the population by water garden enthusiasts in that area, and it was reported to the state by a researcher who follows those threads.

  4. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
    Invasive Aquatic Plant Program

    Invasive aquatic plant surveillance and mapping was performed on the southern section of the Connecticut River. Species found were Eurasian watermilfoil, fanwort, hydrilla, variable watermilfoil and water chestnut. Eurasian watermilfoil and hydrilla occurred from about one mile from Long Island Sound north. These plants were most abundant in protected coves and marinas where they were often intermixed with fanwort and water chestnut. Tidal action and river flow seemed to suppress these species in the main body of the river although sporadic patches of Eurasian watermilfoil and hydrilla became occasionally dense on shoals and along the shore in less than 2 meters of water. These patches often are associated with native eelgrass beds that are known as prime habitats for fish and other aquatic organisms. Loss of these beds to invasive species is a great concern. Genetic testing of the CT River hydrilla found it to be a different biotype than previously found in North America with an apparent difference being the lack of tubers. Spread is thought to be by fragmentation and abundant turions. Surveillance of the remaining portions of the river north to the MA border if hoped for 2020 if funding can be procured, however no source of funding is currently known. Invasive aquatic plant surveys continued in Connecticut lakes and ponds. A total of 366 surveys have been performed on 246 water-bodies since 2004. Fifty-seven percent of the water-bodies contained one or more invasive plant species with the most common in order of prevalence being Eurasian watermilfoil, minor naiad, curlyleaf pondweed, variable watermilfoil, and fanwort.

  5. Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
    Aquatic Invasive Species Program

    Vermont Public Access Greeter Program completed for thirty-one locations. Data is still being processed. One remarkable intercept launch of a boat load of Zebra mussels entering Harriman Reservoir. Partnered with Water chestnut Soil Surveys with Lynde Dodd, CT River Hydrilla Surveys, eDNA ZM & AC Surveys with UNH. Surveyed several VT waterbodies for AIS; including twenty-three for ZM; three Vermont Invasive Patrol Trainings; and six Biobase Surveys to develop bathymetric maps. Completed/contributed to DNA analysis of Nymphoides peltata with USGS, and potential hybrid EWM/NWM in a new infested Vermont waterbody. Administering fifty-five Aquatic Nuisance Control Grants to partners and municipalities at a request of $2.1M and $460K provided. Oversaw the Water chestnut operations on eighty-two Lake Champlain sites, and thirty-two other waterbodies that integrates seven contractors to provide surveying and monitoring assistance, handpulling and mechanical harvesting, and the incorporation of new technologies (drones). Completed Early Detection Rapid Response efforts and control for one new population of WC at Sand Bar State Park, and one new population of ZM at Lake Dunmore. Coordinating state-wide efforts to initiate and develop a Vermont Invasive Species Strategic Plan.

  6. Lake Champlain Basin Program
    The Lake Champlain 2019 boat launch steward program has wrapped up. Highlights include intercepting a hydrilla fragment off a boat trailer about to launch into Lake Champlain. Fishhook waterflea fouling increased markedly on fishing lines and down riggers in late June/early August. The LC AIS Rapid Response Task Force responded to a new infestation of adult zebra mussels in Lake Dunmore Fern Lake, VT. The Task Force also supported a small grant to pilot the use of eDNA for quagga mussel early detection monitoring. Lake Champlain also supported the NEANS Panel effort with UNH to test eDNA sampling methods for Asian clams and zebra mussels in several NE states.
    A few new water chestnut populations were discovered in Lake Champlain and priority sites were managed. LCBP serves as the coordinating body for the Lake Champlain waterchestnut workgroup to coordinate federal, state, provincial, and local efforts to manage water chestnut in Lake Champlain and the greater basin. LCBP also partnered the EPA regions 1, 2, and Great Lakes region 5 to develop a report to congress that documents existing programs, gaps, and opportunities for additional work in the Lake Champlain and Great Lakes systems relative to the eight purposes identified in the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act which passed in December 2018.

  7. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
    Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    Invasive Species Coordination Section

    – Three additional hydrilla infestations were confirmed in Green Lake and Hickory Lake in Orchard Park (Erie County) and in Lansing on Cayuga Lake (Cayuga County). All have been treated and plans for future management are underway.
    – We convened the first Long Island Metro AIS Task Force in October to create a plan for addressing both freshwater and marine species in these locations.
    – We have received proposals for an aquatic plant survey of the Mohawk River – a project that will begin in 2020.
    – For the first time since its inception (2017) the Croton River Hydrilla Control Project reported no hydrilla found in the Croton River and the Croton Bay at the end of the 2019 treatment season.
    – No hydrilla has been found in the Hudson River at the select monitoring locations.
    – Our watercraft stewards surveyed more than 247,000 boaters during the 2019 season. In some regions, it was the first time a boater had ever interacted with a steward (we had expanded our coverage across the State by more than 75 locations).

  8. December 2019 Program Update
    Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
    Marine Invasive Species Program

    Marine Invasive Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC):
    MIMIC is CZM’s marine invasive species early detection and monitoring network which train volunteers to monitor docks, rocky intertidal zones and tidepools in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. In 2019, we worked with ten partners to monitor sites in MA, NH, and ME. We have updated our program materials including a story map and new identification cards, links to both can be found on our website. We worked with organizations on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to add new monitoring sites on the islands.

    July 2018 Rapid Assessment Survey:
    From July 23-27, CZM staff and a team of scientific experts visited marinas from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, to Casco Bay, Maine, to observe, identify, and record native and invasive marine species found on floating docks and piers. We are finalizing the report and data on the 2018 Rapid Assessment Survey.

    CZM also participated in the 2019 Southern New England Rapid Assessment Survey in August organized by Jim Carlton and Judy Pederson.

  9. What MassDEP has done since December 2018:

    • Assessing MA waterbodies with invasive species infestation and add them to the CWA 303d List and 303b report

    • While issuing 401 Water Quality Certification to individuals/towns, providing conditions with best management practices on waterbodies with invasive species to prevent their further spread to other waterbodies

    • Update invasive Hydrilla list map with assistance from MA DCR and MassDEP interns

    • Update MassDEP summer monitoring standard operating procedures for water quality monitoring gears and watercrafts decontamination are implemented to prevent potential spread of aquatic invasive species to other waterbodies and watersheds.

    • Provide several invasive species prevention and control associated presentations to communities:

    Hydrilla and Other Freshwater Invasive Species in the Northeast. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division 2019 Natural Resource Management Workshop, Boston, MA. November 12-15, 2019 (Co-Presenter Greg Bugbee).

    Road Salt Pollution and Forest in Massachusetts: A Tale of Two Streams. Harvard Forest. Petersham, MA. October 4, 2019.

    Invasive Freshwater Species in Massachusetts: Biodiversity, Prevention, and Regulations. Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commission. March 1, 2019 (Co-Presenter Lealdon Langley).

    Aquatic Invasive Species Treatment: Is Salt a Terminator or a Facilitator? Northeast Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. Portsmouth NH. December 3 to 4, 2018

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