November 2011 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

naturesource communications

13 thoughts on “November 2011 meeting roundtable updates”

  1. Maine Invasive Aquatic Species Program Update, November 2011
    John McPhedran, Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    Maine DEP Program briefs

    Infestation Status: One new infestation in state waters, one new find on private pond, one setback of existing infestation

    Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association reported in early summer that variable water milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) had resurfaced in Pleasant Lake (Casco)—this time at a small inlet feeding the lake, diametrically opposite where an earlier infestation had been eradicated. The Association is tackling the new find as they have with its earlier infestation—by deploying benthic barriers. In 2010 DEP had removed Pleasant Lake from state roster of infested water bodies after the Association failed to find the plant during the three previous years. While the lake will be back on the infested list in 2012, DEP is hopeful that the Association’s assiduous attention to the new infestation will once again be successful in removing variable water milfoil.

    Another lake will be added to the infested list with the hybrid variable water milfoil: Mill Pond in Windham. DEP had long suspected this population as the pond lies between two known infested waters (Little Sebago Lake and Collins Pond). Only in 2011 was it confirmed by plant monitors.

    Maine’s third hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) infestation was discovered in late summer in a private pond in the Midcoast region. The extreme density of this population and observations from the landowner suggest that this population has been there for two decades or longer, though we can’t know with certainty. DEP is assessing risk of spread from this newly-discovered infestation and is discussing control options with the landowner.

    Hydrilla has been found in a new location within the 4700-acre Damariscotta Lake (Jefferson). See Control Projects below.

    Boat inspections for 2011

    Volunteer and paid inspectors have submitted their 2011 Courtesy Boat Inspection data to DEP. These data are being entered as of late October 2011 and will be analyzed by DEP this winter.

    DEP Control Projects

    Salmon Lake (Belgrade): Three SCUBA surveys and local resident monitoring in 2011 revealed no Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in the 7-acre outlet cove where the plant was discovered in August, 2008. Since then, DEP has addressed this site with extensive manual removal by hand and deployment of benthic barriers capped by an herbicide (2, 4-D) treatment in September 2009. In continued anticipation of when (not if) this infestation returns, DEP will resume manual controls, namely hand pulling and benthic barriers.

    Damariscotta Lake (Jefferson): DEP addressed Maine’s second hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) infestation (after Pickerel Pond, Limerick, documented in 2002) with benthic barriers throughout much of the 1/3-acre lagoon where it was found in 2009. These commercially produced pervious barriers which – by design – permit release of gases, failed to block light sufficiently in the lagoon’s shallow waters. The inefficacy of these barriers led DEP staff in August to hand remove hydrilla biomass and deploy homemade barriers using an alternative solid plastic material. DEP staff had hand-removed significant hydrilla biomass in 2009 and had contracted an herbicide (fluridone) treatment in 2010. Monthly SCUBA surveys just outside the lagoon reveal no new hydrilla infestation.

    Labor Day weekend brought yet another setback for Damariscotta Lake when a resident discovered the first of several patches of hydrilla thriving in a stream feeding the lake, about three miles north of the lagoon infestation. With support of volunteers from the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (DLWA), DEP hand removed these patches and deployed benthic barriers on portions of the stream not likely to be impacted by springtime flows. DEP and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) banned all boat access to the infested portion of the stream by declaring a temporary Surface Use Restriction for the remainder of the 2011 boating season.

    DLWA and DEP anticipate addressing this new infestation in 2012 with routine and frequent hand removal, benthic barrier deployment and use of nets across the stream to limit the spread of hydrilla fragments. DEP is fortunate that DLWA exists to provide local support for and active participation in the prevention and removal effort.

    Maine NBC-news affiliates reported this effort:

    Pickerel Pond (Limerick): DEP contracted a ninth consecutive year of herbicide (fluridone) treatment for control of the State’s first hydrilla infestation. DEP SCUBA survey revealed a second consecutive year without detecting hydrilla, leading DEP to announce that it would forego herbicide treatment for the 2012 season. DEP will continue to survey the pond – at least in 2012 – and a newly energized Pickerel Pond Association has offered to participate in state-sponsored plant identification training program so as to assist in hydrilla surveillance. This infestation was discovered in 2002.

    Pleasant Hill Pond (Scarborough): With the help of the Pond’s owner, Maine DEP in 2011 addressed the resurgence of Eurasian water milfoil by deploying benthic barriers over a dense portion of the infestation. With DEP guidance, the owner will take charge of monitoring and redeploying barriers in 2012. This infestation was discovered in 2003.

    Great Meadows Stream/Great Pond (Belgrade): Maine DEP and DIFW Commissioners reauthorized a Surface Use Restriction for the 2011 boating season to prevent power boat traffic into areas undergoing variable water milfoil control (hand removal, benthic barriers); the control efforts are led by the Belgrade Region Conservation Alliance. This infestation was discovered in 2010.

    Maine DEP and DIFW are undertaking preliminary discussion whether to pursue a prohibition on the sale and/or use of felt-soled waders in Maine waters. Prohibitions regarding felt-soled waders, already enacted in Vermont, Maryland and other states, seek to prevent introduction of didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) by itinerant anglers.

    Also on the didymo front, legislation passed in April 2011 broadened the statutory definition of “aquatic plant” which opens the way for didymo to be listed as invasive in Maine. Maine DEP staff is drafting a position statement on didymo listing to be reviewed by the DEP Commissioner for consideration and potential listing.

    Volunteerism Extraordinaire

    A crack team of trained volunteers outdid themselves in mid July when they responded to a potential infestation of Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) in Tripp Lake (Poland).

    The incident began with a Courtesy Boat Inspector’s interception of EWM about to enter Kezar Lake (Lovell). The boat owner reported to the inspector that he had been in Tripp Lake prior to arriving at the Kezar Lake boat ramp.

    That report prompted the Maine Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants to rally its trained Invasive Plant Patrollers (IPP) to descend upon Tripp Pond within hours to determine whether EWM had originated in Tripp Pond. Within two weeks of getting the call, and including the long 4th of July weekend, these volunteers conducted a full inventory of native plants within Tripp Lake’s entire littoral areas including a screen for all eleven of Maine’s listed invasive aquatic plant species.

    No EWM was found in Tripp Lake in 2011 so, with the assumption that the EWM fragments may have been freshly introduced into Tripp Lake from another boat originating elsewhere, the Tripp Lake Improvement Association has been put on notice to be vigilant for EWM in 2012. The Association has already designated volunteers to participate in IPP training in 2012.

    More information
    Please check DEP’s website
    or email

  2. Zebra Mussels- this year we opened a wash station at the lake where zebra mussels where first discovered (Laurel Lake, LEE MA). The wash station used low pressure hot water wash that instantly sanitized the equipment and washed boats leaving the lake. We had almost 100% compliance from the boating and fishing community.
    -We assisted a local lake group (Stockbridge Bowl) with design and installation of a large scale wash station at their ramp.
    -Continued assessment of the susceptibility of MA lakes to the infestation of zebra mussels by sampling for water chemistry

    Invasive Species Laws – There is currently in review a bill that would make it illegal to transport aquatic invasive species into or within MA. This bill is still in committee.

  3. Québec’s Update, Isabelle Simard
    November 25th 2011

    – Asian clam: third monitoring campaign in the St. Lawrence River. The population densities reach up to 1000 ind./m2, populations exposed to temperature below 2°C during most part of the year;
    – Strategy and Action plan on invasive wildlife: in progress, should be published in 2012;
    – New regulation adopted to forbid the possession of live invasive fish;
    – Bait fish: regulation in development;
    – Rapid response plan for marine invasive species in Magdalene Islands;
    – Control project on green crab; tests for the use of green crabs as baits for lobsters;
    – Detection of aquatic invasive plants: protocol and identification tools in development;
    – Web application for exotic invasive species: funding approved, should start before the end of March 2011;
    – Water chestnut: control program continued, important decrease in rosette abundance in 2011; new infestations sites detected in Ottawa River coming from the infestation in Voyageur Park, Ontario;
    – Creation of an alien invasive species council: partnerships between NGO, government, industry to detect, prevent and control the spread of invasive species;
    – Didymo: monitoring project for all the rivers in Bas-Saint-Laurent/Gaspésie;
    – Plan Saint-Laurent: new projects for the St. Lawrence River, 1) rapid response plan; 2) mock exercises; 3) education and outreach documents; 4) sharing and connecting existing database.

  4. NH Updates- Fall 2011
    By Amy P. Smagula, NH Department of Environmental Services (DES)

    The New Hampshire Lake Host Program was very active this summer, covering nearly 90 public access sites on more than 73 waterbodies across the state. This program serves to educate the transient boater about exotic aquatic plants and the threats they pose. A running tally of plants collected from boats (during courtesy inspections) yielded about 300 occurrences of plants attached to recreational gear, of which 40 were some species of prohibited exotic aquatic plant. This was from a total of 57,986 boats that were inspected through this program since May.

    Early Detection/Rapid Response:
    New Hampshire now has well over 700 trained Weed Watchers volunteering their time on nearly 350 waterbodies across the state. Weed Watchers are trained to monitor their waterbodies once a month from May through September for early detection of new infestations, or for monitoring for the status of existing infestations.

    One new infestation of variable milfoil was reported in 2011. Upon inspection it was found to be a very small patch of variable milfoil near a public access site on a small pond. DES divers visited the site three times over the summer of 2011 and performed survey and hand removal work as appropriate. Going into the winter the infestation appears to have been eradicated, but future monitoring will continue through 2012 to be sure. The infestation was reported by a conservation officer from the NH Fish and Game Department.

    Control Actions:
    During the 2011 growing season, a number of control activities were performed on lakes, ponds and rivers across the state, for a variety of exotic aquatic plants.

    New Hampshire is working hard to implement long-term control efforts using an integrated approach at management. As you can see from the graph below, we have certainly diversified the approaches that are used for control actions over the years.

    Most of the 76 infested waterbodies have long-term management plans in place, helping to guide management and earmark funds so those control practices can go forward.

    There is an inter-agency initiative concerning exotic aquatic plant control activities in New Hampshire that is evaluating current processes and laying plans for future activities related to exotic aquatic plant management. This initiative came about as a result of some long-embedded philosophical differences among the state agencies related to exotic aquatic plants that led to some impediments in controlling these species in New Hampshire’s waterbodies.
    • In January 2011, agency heads and key staff from the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Resources and Economic Development, the Fish and Game Department and the Department of Environmental Services met for a moderated session to evaluate the mechanisms in place to monitor for, map and control exotic aquatic plants.
    o During this meeting the issue of rare, threatened and endangered species (RTE species), and how they interact with exotic plants, was discussed.
    o Other planned actions from this meeting included better sharing of data and information, development of an inter-agency Memorandum of Agreement, review and revision of Long-Term Management Plans, and implementation of the LEAN (streamlining) process on the pesticide permitting process, among others.
    • There was a consensus from this January meeting that Long-Term Management Plans are useful and appropriate to have for each infested waterbody.
    o Agency staff from DES, DRED, F&G and Ag met to evaluate all components and contents of existing Long-Term Management Plans. During this meeting it was determined that some edits to the existing plan template were needed, and each of the agencies would work to contribute information from their respective areas of expertise for the plan.
    • In August 2011, agency staff and invited participants (public/lake representative, water supply staffer and an herbicide applicator) again met but this time to systematically work through the permitting process for herbicide applications to control exotic aquatic plants in what is termed a LEAN process. Outcomes from this meeting will result in some modifications to the pesticide permitting process, and in Long-Term Management Plans being integral in the process of exotic aquatic plant control.
    • Currently, DES is taking the lead on revising an existing inter-agency MOA between Fish and Game and DES to include the other agencies that have a hand in environmental reviews relative to the exotic plant control process. This revised MOA will ensure better inter-agency cooperation, will outline activities that each agency is responsible for seeing through, and will incorporate adequate reviews of each project to ensure that any RTE species are identified and appropriate protections and suitable alternatives are recommended by experts in the field to protect these species while pursing the goal of exotic aquatic plant reduction and management.

    There is one bill that was retained from the 2010/2011 legislative session, dealing with prohibiting exotic aquatic plants from being considered habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species. We are uncertain how the legislative committee will act on this bill. It passed the House by majority vote, but it has been retained in the Senate committee since spring 2011, pending outcomes of inter-agency mediated sessions on exotic aquatic plant control in New Hampshire.

    There was one Legislative Service Request (early phases of a bill) proposed for the 2011/2012 legislative session, looking to ban herbicide use in all surface waters in New Hampshire (though it was originally aimed at just drinking water supplies. The state agencies responsible for exotic plant management and herbicide permitting worked closely with the bill sponsor to clarify the process for project review that already exists to safeguard New Hampshire’s waterbodies, so perhaps this piece of legislation will not move forward. Its status is being closely monitored, however.

    NH, like most states, is taking the funding issue day by day.

  5. Update from Vermont (Matthews and Bove)

    Two record 2011 flooding events, the first in the spring– heavy rains and snow melt brought Lake Champlain to record levels and more than three feet above flood stage– and the second courtesy of Tropical Storm Irene on August 28– up to 8 inches of rain fell in less than a day, significantly damaging many areas within roughly three quarters of the state — have left those of us managing aquatic invasive species expecting expansion of and colonization by invasive species already known from the state and possibly new ones. Expanded Eurasian and variable-leaved watermilfoil growth was reported as were reports of significant Japanese knotweed expansion along river corridors and shorelines, and into deposition areas. New infestations of species like water chestnut, didymo and Eurasian watermilfoil wouldn’t be unexpected after these unprecedented events.

    New Finds: Two new Eurasian watermilfoil populations were found late this season: Shadow Lake in the Northeast Kingdom’s Glover and Rutland City Reservoir, the City of Rutland’s main water supply with no public access. Despite plummeting fall water temperatures, handpulling occurred in both water bodies, and benthic matting was installed in Shadow Lake. One new population of water chestnut was confirmed in Little Lake (Wells); the population was small and all rosettes found were removed. No new rivers with didymo infestations were discovered in 2011, although one suspected minor bloom in a previously undocumented tributary of a known infested river was reported. Probably as a result of extensive flooding in both spring and fall, significant didymo blooms were not reported anywhere in the state this year, with the exception of the persistent bloom in the upper Connecticut river. Due to staff limitations extensive monitoring for didymo has not been conducted, so monitoring of bloom activity largely revolves around following-up on reports from the public.

    Vermont Invasive Patrollers: Certified VIPs documented at least 30 surveys on 17 waterbodies in 2011. No new invasive species infestations were discovered during these surveys. However, the VIP program experienced its first early detection success story this summer when a volunteer alerted VTDEC staff that a Eurasian watermilfoil fragment had been discovered on the shore near the Shadow Lake (Glover) boat ramp by an alert boat launch greeter/inspector. Follow up by volunteers and VTDEC staff led to the discovery of an incipient population and rapid initiation of a control effort.

    Public Boat Access Sign Gets Facelift: Vermont aquatic invasive species law changes lead to the redesign of the invasive species spread prevention sign posted at public boat accesses. The change to Vermont’s transport law by the state legislature making the transport of all aquatic plants illegal as of July 1, 2010, provided an opportunity to better portray the message of spread prevention and reflect current laws. Over 150 Vermont public boat launches now portray the new sign.

    Regional Invasive Species Leadership Initiative: A newly forming inter-state invasive plant collaboration, the Connecticut River Watershed Invasive Species Leadership Initiative– spearheaded by the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge– hopes to support new and existing cooperative invasive species management areas within the watershed. Six subwatershed “CISMAs” currently exist in the region — two in Vermont; two in CT; one in MA; and one spanning portions of Vermont, New Hampshire and Quebec. The Leadership Initiative and CISMAs expect to provide an integrated network better equipped to prioritize invasive plant control actions, and plan and implement early detection and rapid response actions within the watershed.

  6. Continued work on two externally funded outreach/research AIS projects associated with professional bass tournaments. Visited six major and several minor tournaments operating on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, NY and Colchester Vermont. Conducted 142 in-depth intercept angler surveys (about 10% of participating anglers and co-anglers). Staffed tables/booths at each tournament to disseminate educational material packages including watch cards, key chain floats, brochures, etc. Interviewed all tournament directors to gather “pre-HACCP” information related to the use, decontamination, and transport of weigh-in equipment (tanks, scales, tubing, air stones, pumps, etc.) and release boats.
    Pre-liminary Survey results
    Respondents indicated varying degrees of familiarity to several aquatic invasive plants. The majority of respondents indicated a high degree of familiarity with Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut, and hydrilla. Numerous respondents indicated that they were completely unfamiliar with European frog-bit, Brazilian elodea, and fanwort. Many respondents also indicated a working knowledge of alewife, round goby, white perch and northern snakehead. Knowledge of spiny/fishhook waterflea, and rusty crayfish was slight. Opinions of the degree of harmfulness posed by a suite of invasive plants and animals varied widely by species, though the bulk of the responses were “no opinion”. Strong opinions were offered as to the degree of harm posed by northern snakehead and viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). Anglers were highly likely to exhibit spread prevention techniques. Only a combined 9% of these anglers rarely or never inspected their boats for aquatic plant fragments, mud, etc. following a day’s fishing. Over 90% of anglers indicated that they could easily inspect boats, trailers, live wells, etc. for AIS. About 55% indicated they could easily wash the same equipment list. About 73% indicated they could easily dry the same equipment list prior to next use. The propensity to inspect boats and gear for AIS after a day’s fishing was not predicted by survey methods (volunteer vs. intercept), age, education level, or household income (Kendall’s tau, p>0.77). Over 60 respondents indicated that they had visited between nine and twelve lakes in the previous year, while 46 respondents reported visiting in excess of twelve lakes. About 70% of survey respondents indicated tournament angling to be “very or somewhat important” as an AIS vector, though it ranked lower than Shipping, Non-angling boaters, boat-based angling, the Erie Canal System, and Aquaria Release categories.

  7. Massachusetts Marine Update:
    • Volunteers from the Marine Invader and Monitoring Collaborative (MIMIC) were again out in force this summer, monitoring over 60 sites across Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Of note was a new sighting of the European shrimp Palaemon elegans in a Maine tidepool, detected by the Maine MIMIC Coordinator Jeremy Miller from the Wells NERR. A number of individuals were found at the site, including gravid females. This represents an expansion from the first record of the shrimp at Salem Massachusetts during the 2010 Rapid Assessment Survey. Palaemon elegans continues to be found in Salem Sound and Gloucester Harbor.
    • All MIMIC data from 2008-2010 is available to view and download through the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS), CZM’s online mapping and data visualization tool: 2011 data is still in the process of being complied and reviewed, but will be available early next year.
    • Work continues on summarizing marine species distributional data collected through the 2007 and 2010 Rapid Assessment Surveys. Data reports will be available on the web when completed.

  8. Updates from New York –

    NY continued to implement its comprehensive framework to manage invasive species. The Office of Invasive Species Coordination (OISC), in NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, staffed with 2 biologists (down from 4) is responsible for all coordination and implementation of comprehensive framework to equip NY to manage all taxa of invasive species.

    Now in place under administrative contracts are:

    4 Partnerships for all taxa, landscape level Regional Invasive Species Management. PRISMs now cover at landscape level the Adirondacks, St. Lawrence – E. Lake Ontario, Long Island, and Catskills. Four more to be subject of Requests for Proposals (anticipated in 2012) will be Lower Hudson, Capital-Mohawk, Finger Lakes, and Western NY.

    Comprehensive Statewide Education – Outreach and online Clearinghouse – under contracts with Cornell U.
    Database – under contract with TNC
    Research Institute – under contract with Cornell U. UPDATE: Coordinator Dr. Holly Menninger has left the position so this element is in flux.
    Comprehensive IS Mgt Plan – Phase 1/ gap analysis and strategy (under contract with consulting firm) released by the NYS IS Council in August, 2011.

    Rapid responses in NY currently underway –

    Hydrilla infestation in Cayuga Lk inlet, a NYS navigation channel just south of Cayuga Lake. This infestation is poised to enter the Finger Lakes, NYS canal system and potentially the Great Lakes, was discovered in early August 2011 by an intern on the Floating Classroom boat. The infestation expanded rapidly and is near Cornell crew boat HQ, several large boatyards, and a State Parks marina. Following the discovery, NYS Office of Parks, Rec and Historic Preservation had seasonal staff serve as boat launch stewards; the stewards reported that every boat being retrieved from the launch sites carried Hydrilla. Other volunteer staff assisted in outreach and education. A task force, coordinated at the local level by Dr. Holly Menninger (Cornell – Research Institute – in absence of PRISM in place) and state level by Office of IS Coordination. After positive ID, delineation surveys and regulatory permitting (wetlands, herbicide and canals work permit), the infestation was treated using endotholl in mid October. Results indicate ~ 90% – 95% biomass removal, yet areal coverage remains. Additional Hydrilla was discovered upstream from the area subject to herbicide following submission of the application for a permit to apply herbicide. This additional Hydrilla could not be added to the permit application without significant delay and will be hand harvested asap prior to ice-in this fall. A rapid response framework developed by OISC in January, 2010 guided the response. Lack of capacity at involved state agencies (DEC, OPHRP, and Canals Corp) to lead the effort was a hurdle. Tompkins Co Soil and Water Conservation District took the lead in securing needed permits and engaging a contract herbicide applicator. We anticipate a 5 to 7 year continued effort on this infestation. Identifying adequate fiscal resources and willing leads will be a challenge. For 2012, we expect to use Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ANS plan implementation funds and to be guided by a strategic decision making process.

    Ballast Water –
    New York and other Great Lakes states have received strong push back to their ballast water initiatives. NY desires a strong national ballast water discharge standard that will be protective of New York’s waters which will negate the need for states to attach additional requirements via CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification. Minus such a standard, the revised VGP is a great opportunity to effect a ballast water discharge that will meet New York’s needs. New York, along with Michigan and other states, is urging EPA to incorporate the following standards in the new VGP:
    • 100x IMO discharge standard to be implemented by 2016
    • An interim discharge standard of 10x IMO by 2014
    • Grandfather vessels that install technology prior to 2016 for 10 years
    • Require ballast water exchange and flush, and
    • Require Best Management Practices to mitigate AIS in the interim period prior to 2016
    The 10x IMO discharge standards coupled with ballast water exchange and flush and a set of BMP designed to mitigate AIS in the interim provides increased protection for New York’s waters from AIS. This strategy is designed to promote the installation of the best technologies now with the long term goal of reaching the 100x IMO in a reasonable time, hopefully by 2016.

    Legislative Hearing –

    NYS Assembly Environmental Committee Chairman Sweeney convened a hearing on invasive species in Sept 2011. NYS IS Council co-leads DEC and Dept of Ag and Markets and several NGOs presented testimony. DEC testimony can be viewed at:

    IS Legislation –

    NY IS Council drafted 2 bills in 2010 – one requires clean launch and retrieval of boats – ie no visible plant or animal clinging to boats or trailers; the 2nd seeks authorization for DEC to develop regulatory lists for non-native species in commerce.

    Emerald Ash Borer – approximately 8000 EAB traps were deployed across NYS in 2010 and 2011. New infestations were found in 3 counties – a total of 9 counties have had EAB finds. NY’s approach is to Slow Ash Mortality (“SLAM”) through several techniques and more precise delineation using a grid system. More information at:
    The Catskills PRISM was incredibly helpful in the EAB response – assisting with delineation and administering a volunteer ash tree inventory for all communities in the Catskills and advising them on their potential risk and costs involved.

    OISC developed best mgt practices language for DEC’s Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in Marcellus Shale.

    OISC is working with the gas and electric utility industry and NYS Dept of Public Service to develop best management practices / permit conditions to prevent the spread of invasive species via construction and maintenance activities. These

  9. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) continues to work with NY and PA to implement Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) projects. 2010 funding has already led to measurable on the ground results within the Great Lakes watersheds of those two states. For example, over 13,000 people were reached through NY’s watercraft inspectors at eastern Lake Ontario sites. For water chestnut control, over 88 acres were controlled in Onondaga County and over 217 acres were controlled in Oswego County. In 2011, each state was awarded $1.043 M to continue to implement priority tasks identified in their respective state management plans. Grant agreements are currently being drafted. Also as part of GLRI, the FWS’ Lower Great Lakes Fisheries office has conducted 112 risk assessments on species at risk to invade or expand within the Great Lakes. When combined with basin wide efforts by other FWS offices, the total number of risk assessments completed to date through GLRI is approximately 500. The FWS also initiated expanded early detection monitoring in Lakes Erie and Ontario as part of GLRI. Working in conjunction with the Midwest region, the Lower Great Lakes Fisheries office is now conducting early detection at randomly selected sites at invasional “hotspots” including western Lake Erie and the eastern Lake Erie/western Lake Ontario corridor. Techniques currently include bottom trawling and electrofishing but will be expanded further in 2012 to include a custom designed benthic sled. As part of this expanded monitoring, the Lower Great Lakes Office in Buffalo is expecting to hire one temporary biologist and two temporary technicians in 2012. These positions are expected to be announced by late winter and filled by early spring.

    The Lower Great Lakes Fisheries Office continued its water chestnut control in the western Erie Canal. In 2011, harvested amounts were approximately 20% less than in 2010 and comparison photos of the 6-acre area taken just prior to harvesting also confirmed an apparent decline in plant abundance. Early detection outside the main source area continued to be relatively high; however we feel the majority of these isolated plants were removed prior to seed drop. The FWS again worked with Erie County, the Town of Amherst, and many local volunteers to accomplish another successful year of management and control.

    As a result of Tropical Storm Irene in late August, the White River National Fish Hatchery (WRNFH) in Bethel, VT was severely damaged with flood waters from the White River. This flooding caused the loss of both Atlantic salmon and lake trout that were on station. While known mortalities of fish occurred and were found on station, an unknown number may also have escaped into the flood waters. Initial risk assessments of lake trout in this watershed suggest survivability should decline as the fish move downstream and much of the White/Connecticut River drainage exceeds lake trout upper lethal temperature levels at some point during the year; however any future lake trout collected from the White River, Connecticut River, or any connecting tributaries should be noted and reported and at least a fin clip preserved in alcohol. Genetic analysis of such fish could help verify strain and confirm these as introduced from WRNFH. Another aspect which is currently being assessed is the potential presence of Didymo within the WRNFH. Since Didymo was previously documented within the White River, waters are being tested using qPCR techniques and visual microscopy. A special thank you goes out to Amy Smagula of NHDES, Leslie Matthews of VTDEC, and Brad Taylor of Dartmouth College for their rapid assistance in finding known Didymo samples for qPCR control samples and for their technical support.

    In June, 2011, the FWS completed revisions to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) training curriculum. A workshop will be held on November 29 preceding the fall NEANS meeting using the new curriculum. Those who are unable to attend and who are interested in more information, please see Mike Goehle.

  10. Update on the regulations proposed last year to address the illegal
    introduction of aquatic invasive species in Nova Scotia.

    Amendments to provincial legislation (Fisheries and Coastal Resources
    Act: PART VIII were
    made in
    November 2010 to provide our Minister authority to develop regulations
    specific to the possession of live fish. To be cited as “Invasive
    Species Regulations” a general prohibition on the possession of live
    fish will be implemented. The primary purpose is to prevent further
    illegal introductions by getting at the pathway before an introduction
    occurs (ex. the public transporting / possessing live fish).
    Consultations are ongoing with anglers, First Nations, DFO, DNR and the
    general public. The maximum fine allowable under any violation of
    regulations within the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act is $100,000
    or 90 days in jail. It is hoped that these new regulations will prevent
    further illegal introductions of high priority aquatic invasive species
    such as smallmouth bass and chain pickerel.

    The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has developed an AIS
    Working Group made up of key provincial sportfishing organizations. The
    AIS Working Group will assist in the development of an Aquatic Invasive
    Species Strategy for Nova Scotia. Also, rapid response plans are being
    developed and will become a key element of the AIS strategy.

  11. Update from Connecticut (Balcom and Murray):

    Two Workgroup Meetings have been held. At the first meeting in April of 2011, the group reviewed the vector and species lists in the original plan, and suggested updates to those lists. A significant discussion took place over a proposed revision to the Listing Criteria aimed at prioritizing management activities for each class. The group’s consensus was a preference that the original listing criteria and management classes be preserved.

    The second Workgroup Meeting was held in October of 2011. The main focus was discussion of the draft Early Detection and Rapid Response plan. This draft was developed by the Coordinating Committee based on a template provided by the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. The Workgroup’s response to the plan was positive, and many constructive suggestions were offered. The Coordinating Committee is revising the plan based on the received comments and hopes to have consensus on the final draft by the end of the year. We reviewed the species lists and progress on the other objectives outlined in the 2006 CT ANS Plan.

    Q-ZAP Zebra Mussel funds were used to contract Biodrawversity, LLC to conduct biological surveys in northwest Connecticut, including the upper Housatonic River, to determine the presence or absence of the invasive zebra mussel and provide a Risk Assessment that addresses the potential for zebra mussel colonization in these waters.

    A second Q-ZAP funded projectis with a researcher at Western Connecticut State University to research the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Methodologies and cross polarization microscopy methods of detecting zebra mussel veligers in support of a zebra mussel early detection / monitoring program for Lakes Candlewood, Lillinonah and Zoar.

    DEEP (Inland Fisheries and Geological Survey staff) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed their annual water chestnut survey of the Connecticut River. Bill Foreman (DEEP-Inland Fisheries) coordinates this effort from Hartford downstream where staff and volunteers surveyed the main stem of the CT River and associated coves from Hartford to Essex. USFWS staff coordinate and lead water chestnut control activities from Hartford north into Massachusetts, including major infestations on the Hockanum River and several other sites in the Hartford area. DEEP found and removed plants from more sites than in 2010 and USFWS found (and removed) less plants than in 2010. This year, the Tidewater Institute (with coordination from USFWS) surveyed portions of the lower river, locating and removing much of a new infestation found on Eustasia Island.

    DEEP IFD staff did not find any plants at the confluence of the Still River and Lake Lillinonah this year, where plants have been found and removed annually beginning in 2006. In late September, 2011, water chestnut was reported at several sites in West Thompson Lake (a flood control impoundment and recreation area on the Quinebaug River in Thompson, CT, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and later removed by a volunteer.

    Connecticut Sea Grant received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 2011 as part of the Long Island Sound Study Futures Fund to conduct a social marketing program to raise awareness among coastal boaters and anglers of marine invasive species. The educational program was implemented with the assistance of CT DEEP, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, ten local bait retailers, and some local marinas. Two primary messages shared with boaters and anglers via license holders, key chains, bait stickers, ruler stickers, magnets and posters are “Don’t Dump Bait” and “Keep Boat Hulls Clean”. A survey of the familiarity of coastal boaters and anglers with the issue of invasive species and the materials distributed was undertaken the summer of 2011. Results are being analyzed and a NCE has been requested so as to acquire a second year of survey data.

    We are working with CT and NY state agencies and interested parties to determine how to move forward with the draft interstate AIS Management Plan for Long Island Sound – whether to seek ANSTF approval for a stand-alone plan, or incorporate agreed-upon objectives, strategies and actions in current CT and NY plans.

  12. Dear NEANS Panelists,

    Please use this page to share your roundtable updates prior, during, and after the November 2011 Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel meeting in Rhode Island. I look forward to seeing you all in Providence.

    If you haven’t RSVPed yet, please let me know right away and indicate if you will also be attending the HACCP training workshop.

    Best regards,

    Michele L. Tremblay

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