1, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department put out a press release
annoiuncing that their Commissioner, Patrick Berry, was preparing for
the fishing season openening by taking the Clean Angling Pledge. Berry
strongly endorsed the pledge and urged every Vermont angler to log on
and take the pledge.
“Vermont Fish & Wildlife takes this issue
very seriously,” Berry said. “We have a strict cleaning protocol in
place for our employees that mandates a very through and complete
cleaning of their gear after each use. This pledge helps remind anglers
to develop their own cleaning routine for all of their gear, too.”
Berry’s pledge came the same week that Vermont became the
second U.S. state to ban the use of felt-soled wading boots. Vermont’s
ban, enacted in 2010 by the Vermont Legislature, began April 1, 2011.
Berry made note of the ban while stressing the importance of
cleaning. “It’s important to note that simply making the switch from
felt to a rubber-soled boots does not absolve an angler, hunter or
trapper from still having to clean their gear,” Berry said.
“Rubber-soled boots are easier to clean than felt, but we have to
remain vigilant to protect our resources.” Read More
It's great to have the commissioner join the ranks
of anglers who have committed to taking personal responsibility by
taking the Pledge. The simple actions of Inspect, Clean and Dry are the
best defense against moving invsives.
Invasive Mussels Are Altering
Entire Great Lakes Ecosystem
invasion of the Great Lakes by Zebra and Quagga mussels has
dramatically altered the ecology of these unimaginably large waters.
New research is emerging that shows just how dramatic the changes
are. Incidental Oligotrophication of North American Great Lakes is the title of aq recently published article that discusses the food web impacts on the Great Lakes.
changes, a tremendous shifting of the very base of the food web in
those lakes into a state that has not been seen in the recorded history
of the lakes," said Mary Anne Evans, lead author of a paper scheduled
for publication in the April 15 edition of the journal Environmental Science
& Technology. "We're talking about massive,
was not his first conviction for
the offense. In 2006, he was fined $40,000 for possessing the same
invasive species. Read More
g with similar accounts has led to increasing
calls to end all live transport of Asian carp. However, U.S. Senator
Mark Pryor, D-Ark, says that such laws would be unfair to fish farmers
and could lead to even greater environmental impacts. Read More
The dust is settling on
the legislative season and the felt legislation that we know about is
now all settled for this year. In Montana and Oregon the proposed laws
never made it out of committee. However a couple of states did pass new
legislation relating to felts.
A new Maine law
requires "The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in
consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection shall
examine issues related to the control of invasive aquatic species,
including but not limited to the use of felt-soled waders and the
spread of invasive aquatic species, and report to the Joint Standing
Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife by January 15, 2012. The
report may include any recommendations concerning legislation." When
this Maine report is released next year we will have full info for you.
The Invasive Species
Resolution from Idaho has been adopted as expected. This resolution is
designed to raise awareness of the problem in Idaho. The Resolution
specifically addresses the use of felt: "Idaho congratulates those
fishing tackle manufacturers that offer alternatives to felt soles, for
their foresight and efforts to offer products that reduce the threat
and potential transfer of aquatic nuisance species. Other
manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, are encouraged to engineer,
develop, manufacture and sell similar products that reduce and/or help
prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species".Read
New attention on the
use of felt is sure to be raised with the publication of an article
about felt sole bans in USA
Today. They offer a brief review of the problem and the
avried response. Read More
Lake Tahoe Native Fish
Population Declines Sharply, Invasives on the Rise
In a lakewide study,
a team of scientists lead by University of Nevada, Reno limnologist
Sudeep Chandra has found a considerable decline in native fish species
density at Lake Tahoe since 1951. In their final report, they are
recommending establishing and implementing a management plan to protect
the nearshore zone habitat, which is critical to native fish.
"The numbers are alarming,
and likely caused by multiple stressors in the nearshore zone," Chandra
an assistant professor in the University's Department of Natural
Resources and Environment said. "The good news is that the composition
is there. The bad news is the decline in number, the decline in native
species and the proliferation of non-native fish species."
Moving Toward A More
Nuanced View Of Invasives
Our traditional response to invasives has always
been to try to eradicate them whenever possible. However, new research
and understanding is convincing some that we need to take a more
complex approach to invasive species, "There's a variety of work coming
out that's stepping away from the party line, which is that exotic
species are always bad," said Dov Sax, a Brown University assistant
professor of biology. In reality, "there's a lot more nuance to the
Sax is just one of a growing number of experts who
argue that we need to have a much better understanding of all of the
implications of any control efforts. "If you're going to remove a
particular exotic species, you have to think about how that plays out
ecologically," says Sax. "There're a bunch of cases, particularly on
islands, where removing problem invaders trashed the system even worse."Read
This new way of viewing invasives has been called
Conciliation Biology in a new article in the March 2011 issue Evolutionary Applications. In
his article Conciliation
biology: the eco-evolutionary management of permanently invaded biotic
systems author Scott Carroll argues that "contexts that
appear to call for eradication may instead demand managed coexistence
of natives with nonnatives, and yet applied biologists have not
generally considered the need to manage the eco-evolutionary dynamics
that commonly result from interactions of natives with nonnatives.
Here, I advocate a conciliatory approach to managing systems where
novel organisms cannot or should not be eradicated."
State by State
New York - Divers will
lay down more than 900 overlapping mats over a six-acre section of Lake
George in hope that the mats will smother hundreds of thousands of
- There’s a battle going on over whether to allow boats in
the pristine waters of a Sierra lake near Truckee with concerns about
invasive species are clashing with the desire for recreation.
- State officials have released a new video about the threat from
mussels and how to properly clean a boat to avoid AIS transport.
- The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Reef Environmental
Education Foundation will host the second Lionfish Tournament
Series in the Florida Keys.
The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is seeking projects
focused on invasive species issues for its 2011 Mini-Grants Program.
- Montana FWP is seeking public comment on a new rule that
would require vessels launched on Montana waters to be inspected at
designated aquatic invasive species inspection stations. Read
- Researchers are planning a strategy to attack an invasive species
with a nasty nickname: rock vomit. Didemnum vexillum
is a type of sea squirt discovered near Sitka last June — the first
confirmation of the non-native anywhere in Alaska. Read
Yellowstone Park officials announced they are beginning work
on a comprehensive plan for managing for non native invasive plants.
- The feds consider brown trout to be an invasive species while a Va
agency stocks fish in state waters. Read More
States Tighten Bait
The use and treansport of live bait has long been targeted as
a likely vector in the spread of some invasives. As part of the over
all effort to better contain the threat several states are
currently revising bait regulations.
In New York, the
Department of Environmental Conservation has released proposed changes
to the state regulations banning the overland transport of uncertified
baitfish by anglers. The revisions would only allow for the overland
transport of personally collected baitfish within three specified
transportation corridors. The baitfish must be used in the same body of
water where they were collected. Read More
Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission heard from a number of upset
fishermen at a recent hearing about restricting bail transport. "If
this goes through it will end flathead fishing for a lot of people,"
Danny Kisner of Arkansas City said of a proposed change to prohibit the
movement of bait such as green sunfish. "It's crazy. A lot of my
friends didn't come tonight because they thought there's no way
something like this could pass." Read More
Species triage - a viable way
manage California's water problems?
"Eighty percent of the state's 129 native fish species are extinct or
imperiled," according to a new study from the Public Policy Institute
of California. How to fix that? The answer might surprise you - the
study's authors propose allowing invasive species to go extinct in
order to facilitate a balancing act between preserving a high quality
water supply with a habitable ecosystem for other, less invasive,
species of fish. Should we let some species die off to save others?
Biologists confront the prospect of triaging the fate of the earth's
creatures in this interesting audio download.Listen here
A selection of stories not
directly related to aquatic invasives.
In research with broad implications,
invasive ladybugs are being studied to learn more about the factors
that allow invaders to out compete native species. Read
stonefly species found in Glacier Natl. Park will not receive
protection under the Endangered Species Act. Read
Two gardening groups have quit volunteering at the
Racine Zoo because zoo officials will not stop planting invasive
wild hogs ae becoming an increasing problem in New York and officials
are very concerned about the threat. Read More
Invasive hogs are more than a threat in Michigan where they
are already causing significant damage. Read More
A lawn of
regionally native grasses would take less resources to maintain while
providing as lush a carpet as a common turfgrass used in the South,
according to a study by ecologists at The University of Texas Read More