Invasive species have earned their bad reputations. English sparrows compete with native birds from Newfoundland to South America. Australian brown tree snakes are well on their way to exterminating every last bird from the forests of Guam. And I don’t think anyone can fully predict how Columbia’s rivers will change in response to drug lord Pablo Escobar’s escaped hippopotamus population.
While our climate protects us from rampaging hippos, the Northeast has plenty of exotic species in its waterways, including some that cause serious damage. Zebra mussels are possibly the most familiar of these. » Continue Reading.
A new kind of culvert is being installed on an Ausable River tributary in Wilmington. The project is part of a initiative led by the Ausable River Association (AsRA) and the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (the Conservancy) to improve stream connectivity, fish habitat, and community flood resilience in the Ausable watershed by replacing road-stream crossings with designs engineered to allow for natural stream pattern and flow. » Continue Reading.
Stream restoration work has begun at the popular Keene Town Beach on the Ausable River, across from Marcy Field. With storm recovery funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the old wood and concrete weir, damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, is being removed and replaced.
In its place a natural rock weir and vane is expected to restore the stream’s hydrologic function, provide habitat for native fish, and improve the quality and safety of recreational opportunities. The new weir will maintain the long popular swimming hole. » Continue Reading.
One of the real pleasures in researching and writing When Men and Mountain Meet was exploring the actual sites of the historic places mentioned in my book: the little town of Castorland on the Black River, the LeRay Mansion at Fort Drum, Gouverneur Morris’ Mansion at Natural Dam and David Parish’s house, now the Remington Art Museum, in Ogdensburg. And then there was finding Zephaniah Platt’s grave in the Riverside Cemetery in Plattsburgh, in Lake Placid the site of the 1813 Elba Iron and Steel Manufacturing works , Charles Herreshoff’s flooded iron ore mine in Old Forge and the complex of building foundations that made up John Thurman’s 1790 development at Elm Hill.
There was one site, however, that was a little harder to locate than the others; Sir William Johnson’s fishing camp “Fish House”. » Continue Reading.
In peaceful streams, aquatic macroinvertebrates such as crayfish, stoneflies, and caddisflies travel over and under submerged rocks, foraging for other invertebrates, leaves, and algae. When rain falls, their world turns upside down. At first only the surface is disturbed, but before long, runoff reaches the stream and increases its flow many fold. Silt and sand blast every exposed rock surface. At peak flow, boulders are propelled downstream by powerful currents.
How do small creatures survive such crushing chaos? They hunker down. Water-filled nooks and crannies extend deep below streambeds and far beyond river banks. These deep interstices provide a safe haven even while turbulent water pulverizes the riverbed, comparable to a storm cellar in a tornado. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2015 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report has been released.
The report, produced about every three years, is published to inform the public and resource managers about Lake Champlain’s condition and seeks to provide a better understanding of threats to its health and opportunities to meet the challenges the lake faces. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Waterfest will be held in Speculator on Friday, July 31 at the Village Park, from 10 am to 4 pm. The event features activities, exhibits, and demonstrations in a daylong celebration of water. Admission is free.
Twenty years ago, Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s first Adirondack Waterfest was held in Speculator on July 19, 1996. Each year, the event is hosted at different locations around the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.
The recent annual Nathan’s Hot-Dog Eating Contest (really, it’s a sport?) reminded me of a few gluttons from my past – of the wildlife variety. The term is used loosely here to include some ambitious and/or instinctive eaters encountered during a lifetime of hiking and a lot of fishing in my younger days. Had cameras been pocket gadgets back then like they are today, some great illustrations would be accompanying this piece. At least a few would be of bullfrogs. » Continue Reading.
Regional efforts to control the spread of invasive species in the Adirondacks are making advances recently. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) has approved two general permits relating to invasive species. At the same time, Warren County has approved a Framework Agreement for a region-wide aquatic invasive species plan that could mean expanded voluntary boat inspections.
APA General Permits 2015G-1 and 2014G-1A authorize a rapid response to both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species throughout the Adirondack Park by qualified and trained persons. These general permits approve eradication efforts both on a park-wide scale as well as for individual waterbodies or specific locations.
The Adirondack Park’s trout and salmon fishing would likely disappear by 2100 without global action to counteract climate warming according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s study concludes global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would save 70 percent of Adirondack trout and salmon from extinction. The EPA report also predicts widespread damage to other cold-water fisheries, public health, clean water, electricity grids, roads and bridges, forestry, agriculture and coastal communities.
The EPA’s report is titled Climate Change in the U.S.: Benefits of Global Action is a summary of the Climate Change Impacts and Risks Analysis (CIRA) project, a peer-reviewed study. It compares impacts in a future with significant global action on climate change to a future in which current greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. » Continue Reading.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the father in our lives. Once my children were old enough to make their own decisions they decided not to take the traditional route of gifting a necktie. They give their father what he wants most, time with his children.
This year Father’s Day also falls on my husband’s birthday so he’s expecting his kids to pull out all the stops. I’m not sure they can make everything on his wish list come true, but they are doing their best. » Continue Reading.
Next time you arrive at your cottage, camp or favorite fishing spot and the car’s grille is bristling with wings and other insect body parts, its windshield greased with bug guts, you should be happy. Those insects develop underwater, and they are an indication that the water quality thereabouts is very good. And that you should bring paper towels and glass cleaner next time.
Flying fish excepted, it seems odd to call an airborne creature aquatic. But these insects spend the vast majority of their lives in an aquatic life stage called a naiad, or nymph. They breathe through gills that, while well-developed, are readily damaged by sediment and other kinds of water pollution. » Continue Reading.
Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing about new invasive species. Yeah – right there with you. Aside from the fact that there’s too much bad news around as it is, we’re still working on a solution for those good old-fashioned pests that rival the common cold in terms of eluding conquest. Japanese beetles, European chafers, buckthorn, wild parsnip, Japanese knotweed – enough already. » Continue Reading.
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