Posts Tagged ‘Invasive Species’

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Report Considers Future Of Lake Trout

Spawning-Lake-troutSince the retreat of the glaciers, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) have been the top native predator in Adirondack waters. These northern fish require true cold (less than 55°F) and move downward when surface waters warm in late spring and summer. Consequently, they are isolated to the largest and deepest Adirondack lakes – most of them deeper than 30 feet – where they stay in the dark chilly depths all summer and early fall. The species name namaycush is believed to be an Algonquin term for “dweller of the deep.”

This need for very cold, clean, high-oxygen water can bring to light otherwise invisible changes beneath the surface. Water quality in the Adirondack interior, where we don’t have much industry or farming, can be  abstract. You usually can’t see it, touch it or even taste it. But lake trout make the health of our coldest lakes real and tangible. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Story Behind The Attempt To Oust Dave Wick

davidwickb_250It looks like Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not want a mandatory invasive species boat inspection and control program on Lake George. Governor Cuomo and the DEC tried to fire Dave Wick, the executive director of the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC), and on both accounts, Cuomo and the DEC seem to have lost.

On Tuesday evening, November 25th, news broke that the Cuomo Administration had backed down and agreed to suspend Wick without pay for two weeks and then let him return to his job. It apparently had nothing to do with a gas spill – the original pretense for Wick’s firing. » Continue Reading.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Monroe, Siy Push Mandatory Park-wide Boat Inspections

5a4Local governments, lake and landowners associations, sportsmen and environmental protection organizations want to see Lake George’s program of mandatory inspections of trailered boats adopted throughout the Adirondack Park.

According to Fred Monroe, a Warren County Supervisor, and Eric Siy, the executive director of The Fund for Lake George, who convened a meeting of Adirondack Park stakeholders in Chestertown earlier this month, prevention is the only way to protect Adirondack lakes from invasive species and preserve an economy based on recreation.

“What were once the mainstays of the Adirondack economy, such as forestry and mining, are either gone or disappearing,” said Monroe.  “What’s left is tourism, which is so clearly tied to the health of the waters. If we lose the waters, we have nothing.” » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Comments Sought On DEC Aquatic Invasives Plan

Number of known aquatic non-native and invasive speciesThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released its Draft Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) strategy to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS in New York State for public comment. Comments will be accepted through December 15.

Aquatic Invasive Species threaten the ecology of New York waters and can harm water-based recreational opportunities and economies critical to the Adirondack region. New York is particularly vulnerable to AIS due to its vast marine and fresh water resources, major commercial ports and the easy access that ocean-going vessels have to the Great Lakes via the State’s canal system. Managing an infestation is extremely costly, so prevention is the most cost-effective strategy. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hilary Smith Awarded Hamilton County Appreciation Award

Hilary Smith (center) received the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2014 Partnership Appreciation Award from Manager Elizabeth Mangle (left) and Educator Caitlin Stewart (right).  Hilary Smith, former Director of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, has been awarded the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 2014 Partnership Appreciation Award.  Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Elizabeth Mangle and Educator Caitlin Stewart presented Smith with a framed certificate during a surprise going-away party on September 15th.  “Her partnership with the District has protected Hamilton County’s lands and waters from invasive species that can harm the environment, public health, and economy,” Stewart  told the Adirondack Almanack.

“For 13 years, Hilary assisted our staff members with invasive species initiatives including spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, and educational outreach,” Stewart said.  “She hosted many APIPP volunteer survey workshops for aquatic invasive plants in Hamilton County. Fifth and sixth grade students learned about invasive species from her presentations at Conservation Field Day events.” » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Report Quantifies Invasive Species Impacts

APIPP 2014 ReportA new report—The Actual and Potential Economic Impact of Invasive Species on the Adirondack Park: A Preliminary Assessment—explores the economic impacts of invasive species on specific sectors of the Adirondack Park’s economy. This first-of-its-kind assessment for the Adirondacks analyzes actual and potential impacts of eight invasive species, summarizes expenditures across sectors, species and strategies, and recommends strategic investments in prevention and control.

The potential direct economic impact from eight species evaluated in the study is estimated to be $468 to $893 million, with the greatest projected impacts on property value, recreation, and tourism. The species highlighted include five that are known to be present in the Park (Eurasian watermilfoil, Asian clam, spiny waterflea, Japanese knotweed, spotted drosophila) and three that are in close proximity (hydrilla, emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle). » Continue Reading.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Report: Eradicating Spiny Water Flea Not Possible

Spiny Water Fleas (J. Gunderson photo)In a statement issued to the press, the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force has said that “eradication of spiny water flea in Lake Champlain is not technically feasible” and urged instead that “spread prevention measures should be implemented as soon as possible” to keep the invasive from spreading to nearby water bodies.

Sampling has confirmed its presence at multiple lake stations in Champlain’s Main Lake region. In 2012, spiny water flea was discovered in both the Champlain Canal and Lake George.  Spiny water fleas have been detected in the southern Adirondacks in Great Sacandaga Lake (2008), Peck Lake (2009), and Stewarts Bridge Reservoir and Sacandaga Lake (2010).  This summer they were detected in Lakes Piseco and Pleasant (2014).

The Task Force’s Spread Prevention Recommendations were also issued, as follows: » Continue Reading.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Caitlin Stewart: Making a Dent in Purple Loosestrife

Purple LoosestrifeSince 2003, I have been battling purple loosestrife, an invasive plant that may be gorgeous but overruns wetlands, and outcompetes native plants that wildlife and waterfowl depend on for food, shelter, and nesting grounds. After 11 years of manual management, populations along the Route 8 and Route 30 corridors in Hamilton County have decreased. This is good news for native plants that fill in areas where invasive purple loosestrife used to grow.

This August I focused on rights-of-way along Routes 8 and 30 in the Town of Lake Pleasant and the Village of Speculator. I snipped each flower with garden clippers before plants went to seed for reproduction. All plant material was bagged and allowed to liquefy in the sun before being delivered to a transfer station.

It is exciting to fight invasive plants for over a decade and see promising results like this. Manual management is tedious, but persistent efforts have helped stop the spread of purple loosestrife and remove these invaders from the environment. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake Champlain

spiny water flea lake champlainThe spiny water flea is the first aquatic invasive zooplankton to be confirmed in Lake Champlain, bringing the known number of nonnative and aquatic invasive species in Lake Champlain to 50.

Specimens were collected this August in the Main Lake segment of Lake Champlain as part of the Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Sample analysis by the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh confirms multiple specimens from two different monitoring stations. Additional samples are being examined. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Commentary: Governor Should Sign Aquatic Invasives Bill

Michael Abrahamson, LGA lake steward, inspects boat at Dunham’s Bay in 2011Legislation passed in June that bans the transport of aquatic invasive species (AIS) across New York has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law. Similar laws are on the books in a number of other states. This legislation will significantly improve New York’s focus and ability to control AIS.

Governor Cuomo has until September 6th to sign this legislation. He should sign it. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Volunteers Sought For Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey

1024px-Adelges_tsugae_3225077On July 31, the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) will host a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) citizen science monitoring training at its Lake George Office with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and Cornell University.

Hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive forest pest that is causing widespread mortality of hemlock trees in NY and the eastern U.S. Hemlocks are keystone species in streamside forests that play an important role in the ecology and hydrology of forest ecosystems. HWA has not been reported in the Adirondack Park, yet. Citizens are considered essential to help protect hemlocks by detecting early signs and symptoms of HWA. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Invasive Spiny Waterflea Spreading in Adirondack Lakes

SWF-on-LG-Emily-DeBolt-resizedSpiny waterflea, a tiny invasive species that can have a significant impact on the aquatic food chain of waterways, is spreading in the Adirondack Park.

First discovered in the region in Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, spiny waterflea is also in Stewarts Bridge Reservoir, Peck Lake, Sacandaga Lake, Lake George, and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal. Recent surveys detected populations in Hamilton County in Lake Pleasant, which adjoins Sacandaga Lake, and nearby Piseco Lake. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 6–12

New York Invasive SpeciesInvasive Species Awareness Week, July 6th through July 12th, promotes opportunities for citizens to learn about the most threatening species and ways to prevent and manage their spread.

Events are free, but pre-registration may be requested. The line-up of events in the Adirondack region includes an aquatic invasive plant interpretive paddle at Fish Creek Campground, a Japanese knotweed identification and mapping session in the Town of Bolton and a hemlock and balsam woolly adelgid symposium in Indian Lake.

There are also Ask-an-Expert sessions at the Farmers Markets in Old Forge, Paul Smiths and Plattsburgh. Experts will also be at the Visitor Centers in Paul Smiths and Lake George to help with invasive species identification in addition to regular boat launch stewards stationed across the region.  » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Invasive Spiny Water Flea Headed To Lake Champlain

unnamed(21)Spiny water flea, an invasive species that is believed will be impossible to eradicate once established, is poised to enter Lake Champlain.

The Lake Champlain Research Institute (LCRI) has confirmed massive numbers of spiny water fleas in the Glens Falls Feeder Canal, at the junction basin where the feeder canal branches off the Hudson River at Glens Falls. The feeder canal flows toward the Champlain Canal which serves as a route for boats into Lake Champlain.

Dr. Tim Mihuc, Director of the LCRI, reports that recent sampling indicates that the numbers of spiny water flea this year have increased dramatically.  “They are on their way into the lake, if not already there,” Dr. Mihuc said.  Lake Champlain is considered a source for the spread of invasive species to other water-bodies in the Adirondacks, including nearby Lake George. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Training Set on Controlling Common Invasive Plants

Terrestrial-Training-North-CreekThe growing season is underway and with it comes troublesome invasive plants. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is hosting a free training session that provides landowners with instruction on how to control unwanted infestations of invading plants, such as Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard.

Participants will learn how to identify common invasive terrestrial plants and how to apply effective management techniques on their own lands. The training will include presentations and in-field demonstrations. Landowners, landscapers, gardeners, resource managers and highway department staff are encouraged to attend. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Hamilton County, A Giant Hogweed Alert

Giant hogweed has white, umbrella-shaped flowers.  Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.  It was a hot August day and Lenny and I had the truck windows rolled down as we hunted for a home address in Speculator. We were following up on the identification of a poisonous invasive plant.

“I bet it’s cow parsnip,” said Lenny.

“That’s the house number. Turn here,” I pointed.

I hopped out and gaped at the plant. It towered above my height of 5 feet 9 inches. The leaves were enormous. I walked up to take a closer look saw hairy stems blotched with purple.

“It’s giant hogweed,” frowned Lenny. » Continue Reading.



Monday, June 23, 2014

NYS Aquatic Invasive Species Control Legislation Passed

nycapitolLegislation passed at the bitter end of the 2014 NYS Legislative Session included a historic bill that will help transition New York to a greater focus on the prevention and interdiction of aquatic invasive species (AIS). This bill was carried by Assembly member Barbara Lifton from Ithaca and Senator Thomas O’Mara from Chemung County. Both have communities engaged in trying to stop the spread of hydrilla (hydrilla verticillata) on Cayuga Lake and elsewhere. Adirondack legislators all supported this bill and Dan Stec was one of the Assembly co-sponsors.

This bill is important for the Adirondacks because we still have many lakes and ponds that are not yet infested with AIS. While the list of infested waters grows and the number of AIS increases, we now have an important new tool to try and stop the spread. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized rules this month that prohibits the launching of boats with any visible plant or animal matter or standing water at DEC boat launches and fishing access sites. This is important but limited. This new legislation will allow the DEC to develop similar regulations for all public, private and commercial boat launches across the state. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NYS Legislation Sought To Combat Invasive Species

Number of known aquatic non-native and invasive speciesAs the summer boating and tourism season begins, advocates for local lakes and rivers are calling on state lawmakers to make a major new commitment to fighting the spread of invasive species that are already impacting the lakes, rivers and forests of the Adirondack Park and beyond.

Proposed legislation (A. 7273/S. 9619) aims to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by requiring the removal of visible vegetation and animals from boats as well as removing all areas of standing water in the engine, hulls, and live wells, when using any public or private boat launching facility in New York. This legislation prohibits the launching of boats that have any visible plant and animal matter on any surface of the boat or trailer or contains any standing water. Boats should be clean, drained and dry. » Continue Reading.



Friday, June 6, 2014

Aquatic Invasives Volunteer Training Planned

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) will host its annual volunteer training sessions in aquatic invasive plant identification and survey techniques on June 24th at the Darrin Fresh Water Institute in Bolton Landing and June 26th at Paul Smith’s College. Boaters and paddlers, anglers, outdoor guides and shore-owners are encouraged to attend.

In a region as expansive as the Adirondacks, volunteers are essential to help protect waterways by surveying lakes and ponds to search for non-native invasive plants. Detecting infestations early can lead to removal when the chance of successful eradication is highest. Hundreds of citizens are needed to be on the look-out for aquatic invasive species infestations. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Goodbye Wildflowers – Hello, Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard flowersEver since humans invented agriculture and started moving from continent to continent, they have taken plants with them. In most cases imported, non-native plants do not spread much beyond the bounds of horticulture. But the exceptions are increasingly worrisome to biologists. Removed from the pests and diseases that kept them in check in their natural habitats, some plants multiply explosively. They can smother native ecosystems in a matter of a few years.

Some of these invasive plants, such as bush honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, phragmites reed, and purple loosestrife, are all too familiar in our region. As if that’s not enough, we must now add a new menace to the list. The latest member of this rogues’ gallery is garlic mustard, a pungent herb in the cabbage family. » Continue Reading.



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