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Entries in invasive species (186)

Friday
Jan242014

Texas Expands Requirement to Drain Boats

In an effort to slow the spread of zebra mussels through Texas fisheries, those fishing in 30 more counties will be required to drain their boats. Mostly the effort is aimed at protecting the Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe river basins.

Thus far, the exotic shellfish have been found in six Texas locations, and resource managers fear they will hitchhike from contaminated waters to other lakes in livewells and bilge water, as well as on trailers and props.

Now consideration is being given to going statewide with the requirement.

Learn more here.

Wednesday
Jan152014

More Appetizing Name Sought for Snakehead

Clients catch snakeheads as well as bass with guide Steve Chaconas on the Potomac River. Click on the photo to visit his website.

“Snakeheads are considered a good eating fish but who wants to order snakehead for dinner? 

“The Charles County Commissioners invite citizens to participate in a Snakehead Naming Contest. Beginning at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 7, go here and submit ideas for a new and improved name for the snakehead fish . . .

 “The first phase of the Snakehead Naming Contest runs for 30 days from Tuesday, Jan. 7, through Thursday, Feb. 6. At the end of phase one, a panel of judges will select three entries to move forward in the contest.

 “The second phase of the Snakehead Naming Contest begins Tuesday, Feb. 18, and ends Thursday, March 20. During this time, the public will be able to vote online for one of the three selected entries. Prizes will be awarded to three individuals whose entries receive the most votes.


“The final, winning name will be sent to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in hopes that the state will consider the name as the Snakehead’s new, ‘official’ name.”

 From Chesapeake Current

Monday
Jan132014

Lake Trout Recovering from Lamprey, Alewife Invasions

Lake trout photo by Robert Montgomery

Good news from Lake Huron, where lake trout seem to be reproducing --- finally.

First, sea lamprey migrated into the Great Lakes from the Atlantic Ocean and nearly obliterated them. Resource managers have managed to minimize the impacts of this blood-sucking invader, with millions of dollars spent on mitigation.

Then the alewife, another exotic species, complicated recovery.  As they fed on the prolific baitfish, lake trout sustained a vitamin deficiency that damaged reproduction. Supplemental stocking by the federal government did little to sustain the population.

But about a decade ago, the alewife population collapsed, probably because an overabundance of predatory salmon, yet another introduced species.

So, with lamprey minimized and lake trout now getting the nutrients they need from native forage, they finally are successfully reproducing and could be on the road to recovery, according to Michigan Radio.

 “I felt we were so completely stymied by one thing after another after another. The litany of challenges working against the reestablishment of a self-sustaining lake trout population seemed insurmountable,” said Jim Johnson of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  “But then, with the collapse of alewives, everything changed.”  

Read more here.

Friday
Jan102014

Mussel Threat Grows in West

Unlike zebras, quagga mussels can colonize soft substrates as well as hard surfaces, such as this boat prop.

Out West, resource managers are waging a fierce battle to keep zebra and quagga mussels out of their lakes and reservoirs.  I wish them well, but all it takes is one boat out of thousands launched to infect a waterway.

At Lake Tahoe last year, boat inspectors found 36 vessels infested with exotic species, as they inspected more than 7,000 and decontaminated more than 4,000. Most importantly, though, managers found no evidence of mussels in the lake.

Other fisheries were not as lucky, as a quagga infestation was discovered in California’s Lake Piru, with boat quarantines implemented at Cachuma and Casitas.

By the way, quaggas are even more troublesome than zebras, as they can withstand colder water than their cousins and they can colonize soft substrates.

According to the Great Lakes Echo:

“These abilities have helped it colonize most of benthic Lake Michigan. Just like zebra mussels, quagga mussels are quite effective at clogging water intake pipes and other infrastructure. Mitigating these impacts has cost Great Lakes residents millions of dollars.”

The Echo annually publishes Tim Campbell’s invasive-species rewrite of “The Twelve Days of Christmas, which he created in 2011 for the Wisconsin Sea Grant.

“Twelve quaggas clogging, ‘leven gobies gobbling, ten alewives croaking, nine eggs in resting, eight shrimp ‘a swarming, seven carp and counting, six lamprey leapingFIVE BOAT-WASH STATIONS! Four perch on ice, three clean boat steps, two red swamp crayfish and a carp barrier in the city!”

Friday
Jan032014

Asian Carp Adapt as They Spread East and 'Corps Clueless'

As if Asian carp weren’t a problem before, now they are adapting to become even more of a threat, according to a Purdue University researcher. In an editorial, meanwhile, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland calls the Corps "clueless" about how to stop the invaders. 

From research in the Wabash River (Indiana), Reuben Goforth said that he and his team have discovered that the gills of the invaders are growing stronger, allowing them to thrive in a greater variety of habitats.

“They are not tied to specific water levels like we thought they were,” he said.

Additionally, he revealed that they are spawning more prolifically. Previously, his students had found as many as 1,000 eggs during a five-minute net collection. But in June, they found 300,000 eggs in three minutes. Concurrently, anglers reported seeing a ¾-mile stretch from bank to bank exploding with spawning carp.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” Goforth said. “Fish are doing things here that they haven’t in their native distribution, which frankly scares me.”

He added that the adaptations remind him of a line in the movie “Jurassic Park”: “If there’s anything that the history of evolution has taught us, it is that life will not be contained. Life breaks free and expands to new territories . . .”

Meanwhile, studies are underway to develop an Asian carp-specific toxin, which would not affect other species, according to John Goss, Asian carp director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“It could be expensive, but it could be an effective tool in a small area,” he said.

Unless the carp adapt.

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)