Posts tagged: invasive species
INVASIVE SPECIES — An Independent Economic Advisory Board update released last week indicates that the money spent – an estimated $5 million per year from a variety of sources — in attempts to ward off an invasion of non-native zebra and quagga mussels into the Columbia River basin is money well spent.
However, the report acknowledges there's still a probability the damaging species will eventually get into the Columbia and Snake River systems and raise havoc for irrigators, municipalities and hydropower managers, not to mention boaters and anglers.
See the story from the Columbia Basin Bulletin.
FISHING — This story took me back to the Pend Oreille River about 10 years ago…
Northern pike have made their way into the Upper Colorado River
Utah has already put a $20 bounty on northern pike, the toothy adversary of a healthy trout population, and with a confirmed catch of the invasive predator—and, unfortunately, its live release into the Colorado River at Pumphouse Recreation Area, Colorado should consider a similar program to rid the waters of pike—which have no place in the Colorado River.
A column by Scott Willoughby, Denver Post; Aug. 7
STATE PARKS — A group of volunteers from various local groups — more are needed! — are meeting Wednesday in an effort to curb the spread of knapweed in Mount Spokane State Park.
To join the group, wear good boots and meet at 10 a.m. at the hairpin turn parking lot inside the park at the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road trailhead.
Bags will be provided but bring gloves and whatever else you need to be comfortable working outdoors in the sun (water, hat, sun glasses, snacks/lunch, sun screen etc). A small spade or old screwdriver might also help.
The group plans to work for a couple hours, break for lunch and then perhaps hike the park trails in the afternoon.
Read on for details about spotted knapweed from from the Spokane County Weed Board:
ENVIRONMENT — Anglers wading in rock snot or hikers walking through fields of spotted knapweed should be easy converts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new campaign to raising awareness of invasive species.
Native plant and wildlife species suffer the most from invasions of exotics.
If everyone chips in, the costly battle against a long list of invasives could be more effective.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has summarized the campaign in “Seven Simple Steps” to leave invasive pests – non-native insects, other animals, plants and diseases that feed on America’s crops, trees and plants – behind.
The national “watch list” has been expanded to include 15 of the most damaging “Hungry Pests” that can cause havoc with our native flora and fauna.
INVASIVE SPECIES — A dive team to assess an outbreak of invasive asian clams in the Hope area of Lake Pend Oreille is being organized for Monday by the Idaho Department of Agriculture and Bonner County.
The clams were detected recently during the pre-runoff lake drawdown.
This is serious business. Somebody let down their guard and brought these clams into the lake, probably by not cleaning their boat after using it outside the area.
The clams multiply fast, suck in algae and excrete high-nutrient pellets that can foul water and turn those famous clear-water bays green.
Apparently we need to crank up the penalties to thousands of dollars and JAIL TIME to get the message out.
Idaho Department of Agriculture’s boat inspection stations, open since March 1, already have caught 11 boats entering Idaho carrying invasive mussels into Idaho.
The department has set up 15 inspection stations across the state as a line of defense against the invasion of zebra or quagga mussels.
If you think it's an inconvenience, you're not educated on the subject.
INVASIVE SPECIES — Washington, Idaho and Oregon are among the Northwest states and provinces involved in lobbying the federal government to assure that a $1 million appropriation line item in the Department of Interior’s 2012 budget is spent to help cut off the spread of invasive quagga mussels from a main source – the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Other states and groups involved in the campaign include the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Colorado River Fish and Wildlife Council and Pacific Northwest Economic Region, according to a Columbia Basin Bulletin report.
Last year several boats infested with invasive species from Lake Mead were intercepted by Northwest states at highway check stations. The Northwest region’s water-related infrastructure such as hydro projects and irrigation systems is at risk, as well as recreation and aquatic environments.
BOATING — Idaho’s $7 invasive species sticker, which is required on all boats and inflatables longer than 10 feet, cannot be transferred from one vessel to another, Idaho Parks and Recreation officials say.
A story in the Sunday Outdoors section (Aug. 7) suggested otherwise, noting that some boaters were laminating the stickers for more practical attachment such as a cord or zip tie, especially in the case of their rafts.
“Vendors that offer convenient solutions to affixing them to inflatable rafts with rope rigging are doing just that – providing a convenient solution to affixing them to a designated vessel,” said Jennifer Blazek, department spokeswoman in Boise.
But she advised, “The rules are still the rules. The sticker is non-transferrable.” Here's the Idaho Code to prove it.
She acknowledged that nothing on the sticker says it can’t be transferred, but said it’s stated in the rules.
Beyond that, she said the fee is for a good cause dear to the hearts of all boaters.
“Contributions to the Idaho Invasive Species Fund are put to service protecting our coveted waters from invasive species that can devastate a recreational hotspot in a year or less,” she said. “It’s an important program that should be taken seriously.”
EXOTIC SPECIES — Care for a nutria burger? Or maybe a dab of didymo “rock snot” on your ice cream?
With a boost from creative marketing, the bloated American appetite could help control exotics while conserving imperiled native species.
An invasive species called lionfish is devastating reef fish populations along the Florida coast and into the Caribbean. According to a New York TImes report, an increasing number of environmentalists, consumer groups and scientists are seriously testing a novel solution to control it and other aquatic invasive species — one that would also takes pressure off depleted ocean fish stocks: they want Americans to step up to their plates and start eating invasive critters in large numbers.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is now exploring models suggesting that commercial harvest of Asian carp in the Mississippi would most likely help control populations there, “as part of an integrated pest management program,” spokeswoman Valerie Fellows told The Times.
When they find tastey recipes for spotted knapweed, cheatgrass, rush skeletonweed, milfoil and zebra mussels, we'll be on the road to recovery.
BOATING — Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) check stations will be set up this weekend in several locations in Eastern Washington, the state Fish and Wildlife Department announced this afternoon.
These are mandatory stops for anyone on the road with watercraft of any kind.
Officers will be looking for zebra and Quagga mussels and other plant and animal invasive species that can be extremely hazardous, both to native fish and wildlife and to water systems, if introduced to Washington waters.
The Check Stations will run from 8 a.m. through at least 3 p.m., and will be highly visible with signs, as follows:
For more info on AIS, see the Fish and Wildlife Department's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/.
BOATING — North Idaho has five invasive species boat inspection sites open through Sept. 9 to check boats for zebra and Quagga mussels that could infest the state's waters.
The state Agriculture Department's Invasive Species Program is operating the sites 7 a.m.-7 p.m. as follows:
People transporting a watercraft near boat inspection stations are required to stop.
When going to any different water, remember to Clean, Drain, and Dry your boat.
For more info on boat inspections nationwide, click above to check out the just-released video from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
INVASIVE SPECIES — Mike Wilkinson, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department’s aquatic invasive species biologist, will give a free program focusing on the threat of zebra mussels invading the region’s waters on Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council office, 6116 N. Market St.
INVASIVE SPECIES — Washington officials found invasive zebra mussels on a boat coming into Washington Saturday at the stateline port of entry near the Idaho border.
Both Idaho and Washington are ramping up their surveillance for these invasives with horrible consequences to our waterways.
Read on for more about this particular case as well as about Idaho's mandatory boat check stations.
INVASIVE SPECIES — Washington state is keeping a close eye on the feral pig populations in Oregon, where the fish and wildlife department has ordered farmers to determine the size of the destructive pig populations on their land and get rid of them.
An Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife official says the feral pig populations are likely moving north from groups in California, where they are hunted as game.
The Capital Press reports a group of between 50 and 100 feral pigs in southwestern Idaho was culled to 20 through surveillance and tracking in the area, and Oregon hopes to duplicate that success.
States in the Midwest and Southeast suffer from massive feral pig populations that wreak havoc on valuable crop land.
Oregon officials hope to eradicate them before that happens.
WATERWAYS — Two boats infested with invasive mussels were intercepted at a North Idaho checkpoint, state officials said Monday.
Idaho Department of Agriculture said in a press release the boats were stopped at a station on Interstate 90 near Wallace on Thursday. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports one of the boats was headed to Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, while the other was destined for Gig Harbor in western Washington.
The mussels have many western states taking preventative steps because they can destroy food chains, threaten waterways and fisheries. So far, Idaho waters are free of the invasive species, but two years ago the state Legislature passed laws requiring that all boats be tested.
Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin says last week’s incident underscores the threat that invasive mussels pose to Idaho.
INVASIVE SPECIES — You've probably heard about the dangerous investations of “flying” silver carp in the Midwest. Trust me: we don't want them.
Check out this video and consider whether it would be any fun to take a kid fishing and boating in Indiana's Wabash River.
INVASIVE SPECIES – Sandpoint-area residents are organizing this week to pounce on an new unwanted aquatic invader to Lake Pend Oreille.
A public work party to stop the spread of flowering rush will begin Saturday, 1 p.m., at Sandpoint City Beach.
Like other aquatic invasive plants, flowering rush crowds out native vegetation and interferes with swimming and navigation. Yet, in some places, it's sold as a decorative plant.
According to the Bonner County Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force, the infestation is still at a manageable level, but the group is devoting the week to coordinating with school groups to tackle flowering rush infestations in Boyer slough, Denton Slough, Clark Fork Delta and Dover.
Read on for details.
BOATING — Mandatory watercraft inspection stations targeting invasive species have opened at three sites in the Idaho Panhandle, with two more to open in May.
And don't forget Idaho's invasive species sticker requirement for most vessles. The sticker comes with Idaho boat registrations, but a separate sticker must be purchased if your boat is registered out of state or if you have an unregistered non-motorized craft. All non-motorized boats over 10 feet long, including inflatables, are required to have a sticker.
Idaho's boat inspection sites will check vessels for standing water and signs of quagga and zebra mussels. Inspectors will ask boaters where their craft has been in the previous 30 days. All boats should be clean, drained and dry when they arrive in Idaho.
Inspection stations the state Agriculture Department has opened so far are:
These stations will be open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. through Sept. 9.
Stations at Old Town on Highway 2 east of Newport and Samuels on Highway 95 north of Sandpoint, are set to open on May 15.
The inspections are an effort to keep invasive mussels out of Idaho’s waters.
Zebra and quagga mussels are prolific breeders, attaching themselves to hard surfaces where they clog intake pipes and foul freshwater ecosystems. The mussels have infested the Great Lakes. In recent years, they’ve been found in parts of Nevada, Utah, California, Arizona and Colorado.
INVASIVE SPECIES — Eloika Lake's “milfoil monster” will be addressed in an upcoming program geared to anglers, property owners and anyone else who wants information on this threat to a popular lake — and the waters downstream.
Local Wildlife” photos and the “Eloika Milfoil Monster” are two visual presentations scheduled by the Eloika Lake Association on Thursday, March 31, 6:30 p.m. at the Inland Grange in Elk. Folks who sign in will be entered in a free drawing for an air boat tour of Eloika Lake courtesy of Lake Restoration Services.
Jim Bottoroff, Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, and David Ross, Spokane Conservation District resource technician, will present photos and stories and answer audience questions about wildlife and wild aquatic weeds commonly found near Eloika starting at 6:30 p.m. at Inland Grange.
The grange is located at 37147 N. Conklin Rd., southeast of Elk at the corner of Conklin and Nelson roads.
Even though fishing on Eloika Lake remains good, a project is underway to address the threat invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil plant poses to fisheries. This summer marks the second year that milfoil will be treated as part of a state grant acquired by the Eloika Lake Association in cooperation with the Spokane County conservation district.
“Last year there was a 95percent success rate in the areas treated for Milfoil, so this is really good news for anyone who recreates here,” said Tammy Magnuson, Vice President of the Eloika Lake Association.
WILDLIFE — An exotic furry critter resembling a cross between a beaver and a muskrat is gaining ground in the Pacific Northwest, and that's not something to get all warm and fuzzy about.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released videos this week about thegrowing presence of non-native nutria in Oregon and Washington, two of 15 states with stable or increasing nutria populations.
The invasive mammals, native to South America, cause ecological damage and are potentially harmful to native wildlife, native plants and potentially to humans.
Nutria prosper in urban and suburban areas. Louisiana and Maryland are considered beyond eradication, a fate that could come true in the Pacific Northwest. Under the right conditions, biologists say, a breeding pair of nutria can lead to 16,000 offspring in three years.
“Nutria are symbolic of many aquatic invasive species, in that they're often out-of-sight, out-of-mind and even frequently mistaken as native wildlife,” said Paul Heimowitz, the Service’s Pacific Region Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator.
The rodents over-graze wetland habitats, compete with native species, and can cause erosion by tunneling
into stream banks. In the future, climate change could increase nutria populations, whose range is currently limited by cold winter temperatures.