December 2021 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

12 thoughts on “December 2021 meeting updates”

  1. National Park Service
    Hired intern in October to work on ballast water issues. They are developing contract language for concessionaires, researching ballast water systems, writing a white paper laying out the issues, creating outreach materials, and delivering best practice information to broad audiences within NPS and to our visitors.

    Continuing to work with CALeDNA to test primers with positive and negative controls from park samples. Identified and collected samples from top 2 AIS from each NPS region for testing.

    Acadia National Park is hiring and intern for summer 2022 to conduct creel surveys, in part to determine presence of invasive fish.

  2. Updates from the Adirondack Invasive Plant Program aquatic programs:

    – Our early detection program includes partners, contracted seasonal staff, and volunteers. Collectively 131 reports were submitted from 110 different waterbodies. No species new to the region were detected.
    -We had seven lakes participate in our Lake Management Tracker program which helps lake associations and communities track the effectiveness of AIS removal by creating a long term monitoring methodology that provides better data to inform success and future management actions. Data from 2021 indicated that conditions resulted in increases of Eurasian watermilfoil locations and abundance.

    2021 was my first season working in the position. It was nice to be able to participate in this meeting and get to meet many of you virtually. I look forward to future collaborations.

  3. Lake Champlain Basin Program update: December 2021
    *Senator Leahy has announced that he will not run for reelection

    *LCBP infrastructure funding will = $40M over 5 years

    *Lake Champlain AIS Rapid Response Task Force: The LC AIS RRTF is responding to the detection of round goby at the confluence of the Hudson River and Erie Canal just below the Troy Dam near Albany. The Task Force is working with USGS and USFWS on an environmental DNA and trawling early detection monitoring response and the Lake Champlain Basin Program and partners continue to pursue the Champlain Canal barrier feasibility study

    *Champlain Canal ANS Barrier Feasibility Study – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is completing the phase 1 of the study which evaluated different methods and alternatives and conducted a cost benefit analysis. The final report will be available at the end of December 2021 and will provide review of the three selected alternatives. Phase 2 work for data gathering, full design, and NEPA process is being pursued.

    *Lake Champlain Basin Program and Lake Champlain Sea Grant have partnered to support a graduate student to populate the Lake Champlain GLANSIS database. Candidates will be reviewed in the next few months.

    * Water chestnut control – NYSDEC has worked hard with the Town of Dresden to obtain ownership and use of the New York Canal Corporation’s mechanical harvester for use in the southern end of Lake Champlain.

    *Lake Champlain Boat Launch Steward Program – LCBP covers the VT side of Lake Champlain, support for Missisquoi Bay in Quebec, and a few northern NY sites around Lake Champlain. Adirondack Watershed Institute supports most of the NY side of Lake Champlain with funding from NYSDEC.
    Lake Champlain Boat Launch Steward numbers for 2021:
    -over 11,000 surveys; over 26,000 interactions with the public; 196 decontaminations performed on high risk watercraft and equipment; over 1600 interceptions of aquatic organisms; 829 interceptions of aquatic invasive species (roughly have the time something was found it was invasive mostly on watercraft and equipment leaving Lake Champlain); 76% of boat launch users reported taking one or more AIS spread prevention steps
    – LCBP Boat Launch Stewards intercepted multiple samples of specimens that looked suspiciously like hydrilla. Specimens were sent to University of WI for genetic analysis and luckily were all found to be Elodea nuttalli.

    * eDNA sampling partnership with Northeast Panel
    -Members in Maine, New York, and LCBP continued to team up with with Alison Watts (UNH) to collect eDNA samples for Zebra mussels and Asian clam in Lake Bomoseen and Lake Champlain and assisted USGS Adam Sepulveda with a comparison study of water filter samples to plankton-net tow sampling methods.

    *Hydrilla in the CT River support
    LCBP continued to assist NH and VT efforts to survey the upper CT River; attend multiple interstate meetings with CT partners to provide support in development of a hydrilla management response

  4. – Seeing several new invasions at USACE projects – milfoil, zebra mussels
    Funded $2.2 Mill in Invasive Species work in FY21 and expecting $1.7 Million for FY22. Approximately 75% of that is for ANS.
    – Species prioritized consist of Milfoil, Fanwort and Water Chestnut
    – Focusing on completing baseline assessments at USCE projects to prioritize future funding.
    – Purchasing a couple of Boat Wash Stations – first for USACE projects in the Northeast
    – Continue to struggle with HAB’s
    – Working MOU with USDA – focus is for terrestrial invasives, hoping it is useful for future ANS work

  5. NAS Alerts for the Northeast Region:
    10 new introductions in the NE since May 2021. Includes 5 fishes, 2 crabs, 1 amphibian, 1 snail, and 1 plant across CT, MA, ME, NH, & NY.
    Mapped here:
    They can be queried here:

    We also have an RSS feed that you can use on your website:

    Please send your State-reported AIS to me at They can be in a spreadsheet or a shapefile. I just need the species, coordinates/locations, and observation dates, but I would also like the population status if you know it.

  6. -New York State hosted its first Invasive Species Summit on Nov 16-17th, 2021. The event was attended by more than 270 people with multiple presentations focused on terrestrial and aquatic invasive species detection, management, prevention, and research topics.
    – Hydrilla was found in the North Tonawanda Marina along the Niagara River in July and treated in August. Subsequent surveys of the Niagara River revealed one patch of hydrilla near the outlet of the marina. USACE, USFWS, DEC, WNY PRISM, and North Tonawanda collaborated to treat the hydrilla, install signage at the marina and nearby park launch, and deploy a steward to talk with boaters. USACE will be managing the infestation in 2022 and WNY PRISM will assign a steward to rotate between the marina and the neighboring park.
    – In the Buffalo area hydrilla continues to be treated in Green and Hickory Lakes as well as Brazilian elodea in a small private pond. USACE continued its work on the Erie Canal/Tonawanda Creek infestation.
    – In Cayuga Lake USACE continues to treat the south end of the lake and FL PRISM Aquatic plant monitoring team surveyed the south end for hydrilla. No hydrilla was found in or near Don’s marina or Finger Lakes marine. Surveys of the Aurora treatment site revealed that the hydrilla infestation has expanded to cover 124 acres from the 60 acres documented in 2020. DEC will be sharing costs of the herbicide treatment and water sampling with USACE starting in 2022.
    – The Croton River Hydrilla Project reports no hydrilla found in the river this season and no hydrilla found at select Hudson River locations either. The New Croton Reservoir Hydrilla Project was a success and will continue next year.
    – The Peconic River Ludwigia Control Pilot Project successfully controlled Ludwigia at the designated area. Date obtained from U of Hartford and SePRO indicate that the same herbicide used to treat Ludwigia can now be used to treat European frogbit. DEC plans to expand the project to cover the freshwater portion of the river in 2022-2026 using a our newly written management plan.
    – NYS Watercraft Inspection Steward Program inspected more than 240,000 boats, interacted with more than 400,000 people, and intercepted more than 11,000 AIS in 2021. We will be distributing an updated WISP manual in 2022.
    – Northern Snakehead was confirmed in the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in Sullivan County. Confirmation involved use of traditional gears and eDNA in a collaboration between DEC, USFWS, and Lower Hudson PRISM.
    – New York State’s AIS Program will soon be hiring and deploying its first regional AIS coordinators. Coordinators will be assigned to Regions 7 and 9.
    – NYS DEC Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has begun collaborating DEC Law Enforcement (both uniform and investigative unit)
    -NYS will be leading the formation of a Regional Law Enforcement AIS Task Force that will include the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes Regions.
    – NYS DEC has produced a life release brochure and is piloting outreach in the NYC area starting in December 2021.
    _ NYS will be host the first NEAPMS Plant Camp in September 2022.

  7. Agenda from the November 2021 meeting:

    * Updates USGS NAS database, Ballast Water Management, National Invasive Species Council Management Plan.
    * Subcommittee also presented their proposed work plan for 2022
    * Prevention: ECOSTAR Rating System, Gap Analysis for Invasive Species Pathways, Aquatic Plant Pathway Discussion, Champlain Canal Barrier Feasibility Study
    * EDRR: National Horizon Scan for Organisms in Trade
    * Control: Inasvive Carp Plan Update
    * Outreach: Moss Ball Communication, AIS Message Frames and Metaphors

    Approved items at the November 2021 meeting:

    * Alabama Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan.
    * Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Bylaws
    * Watercraft Inspection Best Management Practices. pending incorporation of suggested edits
    * National AIS Research Priories List
    * Summary of Gaps in Control and Restoration Measures, pending incorporation of suggested edits and removal of appendix

    Action Items from the November 2021 meeting: :

    * Subcommittees will consult with the Northeast Regional Panel to determine how to assist with the response efforts under the Connecticut River Hydrilla Control Management Plan.
    * The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the EDRR Subcommittee and the regional panels to evaluate the ANS Experts Database and will develop a recommendation for its modification and/or continuation.
    * The Executive Secretary will coordinate with the Prevention Subcommittee to develop an introduction to describe the background and intent of the Watercraft Inspection Best Management Practices.’
    * The Prevention and Outreach Subcommittees will work together to develop and implement a communications and engagement strategy with eCommerce platforms to limit sale and distribution of AIS by on-line retailers.
    * The Control Subcommittee will coordinate with the ANSTF Co-Chairs to refine a structure consistent with the bylaws for workgroups tasked to update or develop species management plans.
    * Subcommittees will refine their work plans and resubmit them to the ANS Task Force by December 17. ANS Task Force members and panels will provide comments on the work plans to the Executive Secretary by January 14

  8. What MassDEP has done since Spring 2021:

    • Review and issue Chemical Application Licenses/Water Quality Certifications to projects of invasive species management.

    • 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

    • Working with MA DCR and MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to update the THE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LAKE MANAGEMENT IN MASSACHUSETTS.

    • Continuous technical supports to communities on invasive species prevention, detection, and management

    • Provide several invasive species prevention and control associated presentations to communities:
    Herbicides Application to Manage Aquatic Invasive Species in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Resources. November 30, 2021 (with intern).

    Asian Clams in Onota Lake: Eradication and Monitoring. City of Pittsfield. October 5, 2021.

    Aquatic Invasive Species Management: Early Detection, Prevention, Control, and Regulation. Snows Pond Association. August 18, 2021.

  9. Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
    Aquatic Invasive Species Program

    – 12 early detection and rapid response events, 5 confirmed introductions. Bristol Pond (Najas minor); Bakers Pond & Lake Lamoille (Myriophyllum spicatum); Sand Bar WMA & CT River Whitingham (Trapa natans). In sites where effective, management actions were taken to survey and harvest populations. Ongoing efforts that involve volunteers will be required to manage these introductions.
    – Reports and observations of explosive aquatic plant growth, floating mats, and deposition of wrack caused public concern. Growth/mats may have been due to the early spring drought paired with low snow melt, and summer high water erosive events.
    – CT River VT/NH EDRR Hydrilla surveys continued this season by both VT/NH AIS Programs. A LCBP Boat Steward found a Hydrilla like specimen aboard a retrieving boat, and VTDEC biologists found another similar specimen in Lake Fairlee. Fortunately, genetic analysis confirmed the identity as Elodea nuttalli.
    – VT Water Chestnut Management Harvesting Program found some sites having record low numbers and others with dramatic increases in populations. May have been due to exposed seed beds or environmental weather pattern noted above. Data is still being analyzed to understand these trends. Historical hard copy population maps were converted into GIS layers to understand the shifts of the populations throughout the years, and to support in the overall management of the species.
    – The Vermont 2021 ANC Grant in Aid Program established an Environmental Stewardship Program to reduce the administrative burden for the program while also awarding grants based on actual total project costs. As the request for funds and projects increase, VTDEC hopes to maintain the ability to award grants to all eligible projects that request funds rather than moving to a competitive grant system.
    – Vermont Watercraft Inspection Survey 123 finally launched and was utilized by 30 Public Access Greeter programs. Inspections decreased in 2021, though not all the data has been reported at the time of the update.
    – Continued work with Northeast Panel members in Maine, New York, and LCBP with Alison Watts (UNH) to collect eDNA samples for Zebra mussels and Asian clam in Lake Bomoseen and Lake Champlain. Joined in the similar effort to compare plankton-net tow sampling methods for Adam Sepulveda (USGS).
    – Provided field support for Nate Harms (USGS) to collect Nymphoides peltata samples at infestation sites in Lake Champlain.
    – Completed Zebra mussel veliger surveys that included Earth metal samples at 28 waterbodies.
    – A revision of A Key to Common Vermont Aquatic Plant Species that includes more species and color photographs is available on-line.

  10. Maine Invasive Aquatic Species Program Update, October 2021
    John McPhedran, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    New to Maine: Parrot Feather
    A landowner’s report of lush growth in her Liberty, Maine pond turned out to be parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). This is the first known documentation of this plant in Maine. The landowner had already conducted several removal efforts by the time the plant was reported to DEP. A plan for further control in 2022 is in the works.

    Clean Drain Dry Campaign
    Maine’s DEP and Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife formed a stakeholder group to consider and recommend measures to improve invasive aquatic species spread prevention in Maine. Stakeholders include representatives of Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy Maine Chapter, Maine BASS Federation, Lake Stewards of Maine, marine trade groups and representatives of regional and local lake associations. The initial meeting occurred in May and the group will renew discussions in November.

    Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) Program
    Greater than 80,000 inspections have been entered to date for the 2021 season with several thousand still to be entered. The vast majority are entered using the Survey123 app either by the boat inspector during the inspection or later by the local CBI Program coordinator. Preliminary data show 29 saves in 2021, i.e., removal of invasive aquatic plants from boats or great before or after launching. Four of these saves were on boats entering an uninfested waterbody and included the following: Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum; 2 saves), brittle naiad (Najas minor) and Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana). The boaters were previously on out-of-state lakes in CT, VT, NH and RI respectively.

    Maine DEP awarded $264,000 in grants in 2021 to local and regional lake associations to organize and conduct inspections for boats entering and leaving lakes and rivers.

    Infestation highlights
    Maine DEP conducts rapid response to incipient infestations with potential for eradication while local lake groups manage established infestations with the help of DEP grants. DEP’s effort to eradicate Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) from south-central Maine’s Cobbosseecontee Lake suffered a setback when 2021 plant surveys showed that EWM was more widespread than previously thought. DEP again hired SOLitude Lake Management to apply herbicide (ProcellaCOR) in 2021. DEP’s dive team pulled plants from areas discovered later in the 2021 season. A combination of herbicide and diver removal will continue in 2022 and DEP will continue to work with local and regional associations to respond to this infestation, including determining if eradication remains feasible.

    DEP continued manual removal of an incipient infestation of variable water-milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) in Androscoggin Lake (central Maine) in coordination with the 30-Mile River Watershed Association which conducted a lake-wide survey with staff and volunteer surveyors. This invasive plant appears to still be isolated to one cove of this lake but a late-season lake-wide algal bloom prevented completion of plant removal in 2021.

    Local and regional lake associations continued tireless work to survey for and manage established infestations in Maine, supported in part by $450,000 in grants from DEP. One example is the relatively remote Big Lake in eastern Maine. As reported in our 2020 update, the planned 2020 lake-wide survey of the lake by Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) staff and volunteers was derailed by the pandemic. Regular virtual meetings over the last year organized by LSM brought together volunteer surveyors, Big Lake residents, local organizations and state agency staff. The result was a lake-wide survey of 10,000+ acre Big Lake and identification of additional areas for management.

    Volunteer surveyors in Lake Arrowhead (Limerick and Waterboro), which already hosts two invasive aquatic plants, confirmed the growth of Utricularia inflata (swollen bladderwort). This plant is known from just one other lake in Maine. It is not on Maine’s list of invasive aquatic plants but will be proposed for addition to the list in Maine Legislature’s next regular session (2022-23). Maine DEP has not yet determined to what extent this plant can or will be managed.

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) Regional Project
    The northeast regional group working to develop an eDNA sampling program for invasive mollusk species in northeastern lakes continued to define sampling protocols. The group partnered with USGS to compare eDNA methods to traditional plankton tows in detecting low density populations of zebra mussel. Preliminary results indicate the eDNA methods to be more sensitive. Work has also begun with USGS to develop a Strategic Management response to eDNA results.

    For more information, please check DEP’s website
    or email

  11. A Few Species of Concern

    Hottonia palustris:
    A new submersed aquatic plant was documented in New Hampshire in May 2021, that was not on our radar or on the state’s prohibited plant list. The leaves look somewhat milfoil-like in that they are feather-like and arranged around the main stem. At first I thought it was a big mermaid weed (Proserpinaca), but the leaves were not quite right, and the plant was in flower with pale purple flowers above the water’s surface. After some investigation and reaching out to our state’s Natural Heritage Program, and to Dr. Barre Hellquist, we confirmed the plant was Hottonia palustris, commonly referred to as water violet.

    Hottonia palustris is a plant from Europe/Asia and common in the water garden and aquarium trade, sold through many online retailers out of Canada. It is only documented in three locations in the United States to date, in Maine and Connecticut, so it is not a common species that we see in our day-to-day work. It is unclear how the plant ended up in NH and in two separate lakes in the state.

    The plant was discovered in two locations in Paugus Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee (the state’s largest lake), both small coves (Pickerel Cove and Langley Cove), and in Jay’s Marina on Lake Winnisquam (fourth largest lake in the state). The plant was hand harvested in Jay’s Marina and Langley Cove, as both populations were small clusters of stems. The infestation in Pickerel Cove was more widespread, and it was chemically treated as part of a treatment to target variable milfoil in the cove.

    Hand harvesting provided good control for the two small scale infestations, but we did see abundant regrowth of the plant late summer where the herbicide treatment was performed (the herbicide did control the plant for the short term). What is more concerning, the plant appears to be amphibious, rooting in mud mats and growing as an emergent, so targeting growth on muddy shorelines will need to be factored in to any aquatic application that is performed for management.

    Based on personal communications with Dr. Hellquist, as well as observations in New Hampshire, the plant fragments easily, and could become a widespread problem in waterbodies, and also spread through transient recreational activities. We are monitoring for it and spreading the word through volunteers to be on the lookout for it, and also spreading the news regionally and beyond, like through NEAPMS and other regional groups.
    New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau botanists have deemed Hottonia palustris to be an invasive plant species in NH, allowing us to target the plant for management.

    Najas minor and Najas guadalupensis are showing up in multiple waterbodies across the state, and both are fairly abundant in waterbodies they infest. Najas guadalupensis is not a state listed invasive, but Najas minor is. Both plants are quick to colonize sites, and both are difficult to control, and appear to be prolific seed producers. While some sites have been managed with aquatic herbicides, infestations do continue to spread in affected waterbodies, so more work needs to be done to dial in effective control actions to prevent further spread, while effectively controlling existing populations with good efficacy (the plants are controlled well with herbicides, but the seed stock is the problem).

    New Out of State Boater Decal Program
    In 2019, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a bill to enact an out-of-state boater decal program, whereby vessels registered in states other than New Hampshire must show a New Hampshire out-of-state boater decal. The decals cost $20, and can be purchased online. The decals are good through one boating season, and expire on December 31 of each year.

    It took some time to build the program and select an online vendor to host the purchase platform, but the program finally went live on June 2, 2021. Decals can only be purchased online, there are no in-state vendors selling decals. Decals can be purchased at

    We anticipated 2021, and probably 2022 to be gear-up years, where much education and outreach is needed to inform visitors to New Hampshire that decals are required, and after that point enforcement actions will commence. Enforcement will be done by any peace officer, but mostly likely by the state’s Marine Patrol officers.
    Proceeds from decals are directed to support aquatic invasive plant management efforts in New Hampshire. Revenues are indeterminate at this time, and will become clearer after a couple years of the program being in effect.

    Regional Collaborations
    New Hampshire and Vermont aquatic biologists have been partnering for survey days along the Connecticut River to identify any areas of hydrilla growth. To date, no hydrilla has been documented, but with infestations in Massachusetts and Connecticut, we are in the early detection mode in the northern reaches of the river.

    Please direct any questions about the above information to Amy Smagula at

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