May 2022 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

10 thoughts on “May 2022 meeting updates”

  1. Connecticut Update from Greg Bugbee
    The unique strain of hydrilla in the Connecticut River continues to be issue of greatest concern. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Invasive Aquatic Plant Program (IAPP) has completed a survey and documented over 800 acres with many coves and some tributaries nearly completely choked. See here Propagation appears entirely by fragments and turions. No tubers have been observed. CAES IAPP will be working with a private contractor to determine the efficacy of a diquat treatment to Wethersfield Cove. Hydrilla specimens from the river and other sites will be sent for additional DNA sequencing and analysis for harmful cyanobacteria.
    Incentives for state employees to retire before July 1st are resulting in a loss of many key employees particularly at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
    Swollen bladderwort (Utricularia inflata) may be an emerging problem in Connecticut lakes. Because of its similarities to native floating bladderwort (Utricularia radiata), genetic tests are needed to determine if this is the case. CAES IAPP will be investigating.
    Dr. Nicholas Tippery from the University of Wisconsin/Whitewater is now offering a plant DNA testing service. This can help those who need positive identification of plants and can be beneficial when controversies arise particularly regarding protected species.
    Grass carp introductions into certain waterbodies may face increased scrutiny because of instances of over-grazing.
    The fourth edition of the CAES IAPP Invasive Aquatic Plant Identification Guide is in the final stages of preparation. The current addition can be viewed here . Improvements will be a section on the Connecticut River hydrilla, expanded section on prevention, and a section on Didymo.
    Legislation was approved to establish an “Office of Invasive Aquatic Species” at CAES beginning July 1st. This will bring much need resources to address the problem. Specific are currently being worked out.

  2. Maine DEP News Spring 2022

    New to Maine: Parrot Feather
    A landowner’s 2021 report of lush growth in her Liberty pond turned out to be parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). This is the first known documentation of this plant in Maine. The DEP will work with the landowner in attempt to eradicate this infestation starting in 2022. This effort will likely require a multi-year response.

    Clean Drain Dry Stakeholder Group
    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. In addition to state agency staff, 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 group has met monthly through winter 2021-22 including establishing committees to address in depth specific issues. A report on findings from the stakeholder group will be submitted to the Interagency Task Force on Invasive Aquatic Plants and Nuisance Species in fall 2022.

    Legislation: LD 1826
    A bill sponsored by Representative Tavis Hasenfus and approved by the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee makes changes to existing law regarding the Interagency Task Force on Invasive Aquatic Plants and Nuisance Species. The Task Force will be required to report findings and recommendations regarding invasive aquatic plants and nuisance species to legislative committees starting in January 2023 and biennially thereafter. The bill also requires that the Task Force convene a stakeholder group to develop the findings and recommendations. The current stakeholder group in the previous paragraph will serve as the group required in the legislation. The amended bill passed by committee is here

    Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) Program
    Greater than 89,000 boat inspections were conducted by 61 groups in the 2021 season, less than the high of over 102,000 in 2020, the first year of Covid-19. Data show 75 saves in 2021, i.e., removal of invasive aquatic plants from boats before or after launching. Seven 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), Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana), and variable-leaf water-milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum; 3 saves). The boaters were previously on Maine lakes and out-of-state lakes from CT, VT, and NH.

    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
    Control of the Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM) in 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. Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW) surveyed frequently and DEP’s dive team and FOCW snorkelers pulled plants from areas not treated with herbicide. New signs to deter boaters from entering infested areas were produced by DEP and installed by the Navigational Aids Program in the Department of Conservation, Agriculture and Forestry. A combination of herbicide and diver removal will continue in 2022. This response project involves DEP, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW), Cobbossee Yacht Club and Cobbossee Watershed District.

    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 Androscoggin but a late-season lake-wide algal bloom prevented completion of plant removal in 2021. The continued surveying and removal in 2022 will be led by 30-Mile River Watershed Association with DEP support.

    Local and regional lake associations continued tireless work to survey for and manage established infestations in 2021, supported in part by $450,000 in grants from DEP. One example is Big Lake in interior Washington County. The planned 2020 lake-wide survey of by Lake Stewards of Maine (LSM) staff and volunteers, derailed by the pandemic, occurred in 2021. Regular virtual meetings over winter 2020-21 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, 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). The 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 and Asian clam. 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

  3. Although Chinese mitten crabs have been found in Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson River, it was not until 2020 that live Chinese mitten crabs (CMCs) were found in Norwalk, Connecticut at the mouth of the Housatonic River that originates in western Massachusetts and flows through Connecticut. CMCs are cryptic and rarely seen as juveniles as they migrate and mature upstream in fresh water and return to the sea to mate. Several locations in New England provide suitable habitat for the CMCs including the upstream Housatonic representing a threat to Massachusetts. Two publications identify rapid response plans and management for the Chinese mitten crabs in New England (see NEANS Panel 2012 and Eberhardt et al. 2016). Because the crabs may be present but not seen, funding is being pursued to develop eDNA tests to identify CMC in marine and fresh water in an effort to determine if they are migrating northward. To date, funding has not materialized.

  4. National Park Service activities since December 2021:

    NPS headquarters has been putting its efforts into ballast water messaging.
    • developed contract language for concessionaires
    • white paper in review
    • internal webinar, focusing on providing information on ballast water, how it transports AIS, and relevant regulations regarding ballast water
    • hands-on activity that demonstrates how ballast water can pick up and transport AIS

    Our COAST program held a planning workshop with reps from parks from around the country and regional staff to determine priorities within the topic of AIS to be addressed over the next 3 years.
    • Complete regionally focused species impact assessments and include information on what we can do – mitigation strategies, management and eradication tactics
    • Develop a monitoring and response program, including providing information on methodology for management, and facilitate sampling at parks using a lab contract for eDNA or other ID methods.

    This summer, Aly Putnam (UMass – Amherst), is planning to assess AIS in the intertidal zone of the islands of Boston Harbor Islands National Park, and this will include documenting species presence and quantifying them. The species information (both native and invasive species) will be entered into our NPSpecies database ( Last summer and this summer she will be surveying several islands that have been sampled very infrequently, if at all, and is focusing on the mixed course rocky intertidal. This is different from previous surveys which have focused primarily on anthropogenic structures and tide pools.

  5. What MassDEP has done since Fall 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

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

    • 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: such as mechanical and/or chemical treatment on invasive Swollen Bladderwort in Snows Pond, Rochester, MA.

  6. Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel
    Work Group: Climate Change

    Prepared by Judith Pederson, Lead
    Presented by Carolina Bastidas

    In 2015, the Climate Change work group adopted the goal of identifying fresh water and marine species that are moving northward with climate change and may be disappearing from their southern range. The development of a database and the process for identifying species that are becoming established in northern areas was projected as a long-term effort that would benefit from input by citizen monitoring groups and other sources. The outcomes were not anticipated to provide data on climate impact on species for several years.

    As a first step, a list of species that included primarily non-native and also some native species was developed for both fresh and marine waters. After a general discussion of the issues related to species identification, determination of northernmost ranges, establishment of populations (i.e., reproducing populations), the Climate Change work group focused on a process for moving forward. Details of the development of the database and list of species are available on the NEANS website (Climate Change Working Group Report 5/13/15). Unfortunately, responses were minimal.

    By 2019, the response to data mining and adding to the database had diminished. Some of the original committee members, particularly the Canadian members were not able to attend the meetings and new members suggested another approach to identify what is known about species responses to climate change. New terms of reference were developed and are summarized below.

    There were three phases identified in the new approach. The long-term goal was to conduct and support rapid assessment surveys (RAS) that identify non-native species in marine waters and building a database over time for the area from Maine to Long Island Sound.

    Phase I of the project would include one page documents that identify climate impact on non-native species in fresh and marine waters and that would support surveys, provide information for managers and policy makers, identify data gaps, and disseminate information in partnership with others.

    Phase 2 would support efforts by raising funds for a RAS for 2022/2023 and creating model language for Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force to support RAS throughout the region every 3-4 years.

    Phase 3 would summarize the efforts of phase 1, the RAS long-term support request and develop information for legislators and others on climate impacts on non-native species and their potential consequences.

    The value of this approach is to identify species shifts that are occurring in the Gulf or Maine, and southern marine waters, including Long Island Sound and inland rivers, ponds and lakes. These non-native species shifts are occurring frequently, especially in the Gulf of Maine and other regional water bodies where temperatures are increasing faster than other regions and remaining warmer for longer periods. The ensuing climate change impacts are affecting recreational activities, fishing and shellfish areas, community ecology and ecosystem function, the regional economy, and human health (e.g., with increased diseases and frequency of toxic algal blooms). The long-term surveys will provide insights on the presence and status of non-native species over time that are useful to managers, policymakers, non-government organizations and the public.

    Initially the tasks were to be completed by 2023. However, Covid and the pandemic altered our ability to accomplish our goals. In person meetings were suspended and field work was postponed for two years. Nonetheless, we reported on some RAS activities related to the Climate Change work group.

    In 2019 prior to the pandemic, we completed a RAS for Southern New England to Long Island Sound resulting in a publication, 2019 Rapid Assessment Survey of marine bioinvasions of southern New England and New York, USA, with an overview of new records and range expansions (Pederson et al. (2021), BioInvasions Records 10(2): 227–237,

    IN 2020, NEANS Panel members (James Carlton and Judith Pederson) collaborated with Drs. Amy Fowler and April Blakeslee, members of the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasives (MAPAIS) to conduct an RAS from New Jersey to Virginia. Because of COVID, the MAPAIS RAS has been postponed until the summer of 2022. It is anticipated that the survey data on marine invasive species south of the NEANS Panel region will provide new insights on northward moving species as well as providing useful information to managers and policy makers and the public.

    The pandemic has created an opportunity to modify the Climate Change Work Group terms of reference. Currently, new efforts are underway to revise the NEANS Panel Climate Change Work Group efforts primarily focusing on marine waters.

  7. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) has the following monitoring programs and projects in the summer of 2022. Feel free to reach out to me if you have and questions or ideas to share.

    Monitoring Programs

    Lake Protectors – This is the 21st season of volunteers and partners monitoring lakes for aquatic invasive species (AIS). There are 16 species that volunteers are trained on.

    Lake Management Tracker – This monitoring program is for lakes that are actively removing AIS. The program provides the technical support to allow for volunteers to collect monitoring data to assess the effectiveness of the management. This allows the local communities to evaluate quantitatively if they are meeting their goals and objectives.

    Early Detection Team – We hire a professional crew to survey lakes for AIS presence, absence, percent cover, and distribution mapping. This is the 8th year of the program and the team will be in the western part of the Adirondack Park in 2022.


    Lake Champlain Boat Launch AIS Removal – APIPP is testing a management technique to remove AIS by hand harvesting. The goal is to assess the effectiveness of local removal to reduce the number of retrieving boats that have AIS present. The work will occur at two boat launches in 2022 and expand to four boat launches in 2023.

    Lake George Eurasian watermilfoil herbicide management – APIPP is working with local partners (Lake George Park Commission and Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District) to monitor the effectiveness of removing invasive milfoil and the impacts that it has on native plant communities.

    eDNA monitoring on five rivers that drain to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This project is in partnership with the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario PRISM. The goal is to test for a suite of species and see if we can identify the invasion front of where these species are.

  8. U.S. Geological Survey NAS Alerts since Dec 2021:
    – Hydrilla reported for the first time outside the Erie Canal into Niagara River, NY by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    – Very large Grass Carp caught in Kelly Bay of Lake Champlain. Possibly a first occurrence for VT

    – Rock Bass caught in Androscoggin River, below the falls. A first occurrence for ME

    Other NAS updates:
    – Hoping to start a national plant horizon scan effort in collaboration with USGS, Univ. of Florida, and others to provide a list of potentially invasive plants through the international pet trade that enter the U.S.

    – Working towards a data-sharing effort with EDDMapS and iMapInvasives that would streamline our ability to provide the most current distribution maps on all respective platforms through GIS web feature services.

    – With the help of State agencies, we are compiling a list of priority and prohibited AIS nationally by state to provide to the public and incorporate into NAS applications.

  9. -NYSDEC is preparing for field season at several hydrilla control project sites across the state: Green and Hickory Lakes (Erie County), Cayuga Lake (Cayuga and Tompkins Counties), Spencer Pond (Tioga County) and Croton River (Westchester County). This year will mark the end of herbicide treatment at Croton River and a transition into long-term monitoring.
    -In addition, the NYS Watercraft Inspection Steward Program (WISP) is ramping up for the official kickoff of boating season on Memorial Day Weekend. We have a new WISP manual and will be participating in both the Great Lakes and Northeast Landing Blitz around the July 4th holiday.
    -We are working closely with Canal Corps and additional stakeholders to develop a rapid response plan for addressing the threat of round goby spread into Lake Champlain via the Champlain Canal.
    – We are also working with stakeholders along the Mohawk River to begin to address water chestnut infestations, have interns researching effects of copper treatment on lake vegetation communities and the genetics of variable leaf watermilfoil which is native in one part of New York and invasive in others.

  10. The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), Lake Champlain Sea Grant, and the Lake Champlain Research Consortium are organizing the 2022 Lake Champlain Research Conference to be held May 23-24 in Burlington VT .

    The Conference will have many sessions, including one on AIS, and a key note address by Meg Modley (LCBP) and Shawn Good (VT Fish and Wildlife) on “Round Goby Threat to Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal”.

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