Clean Angling News
April 2011

Taking the Pledge

  On April 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 to 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

    The 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.

   "These are astounding 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, ecosystem-wide changes."

     nately, this 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 

Felt Legislation Update

   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.  Read More

   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 More

    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."  Read More

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 story."

   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 More

    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."    Read More

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 Asian clams.  Read More

   California - 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.  Read More

  Utah - State officials have released a new video about the threat from mussels and how to properly clean a boat to avoid AIS transport.  Watch Here

  Florida - The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation will host the second  Lionfish Tournament Series in the Florida Keys. Read More 

  Louisiana - The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is seeking projects focused on invasive species issues for its 2011 Mini-Grants Program.   Read More

  Montana - 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 More

  Alaska - 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 More

  Wyoming - Yellowstone Park officials announced  they are beginning work on a comprehensive plan for managing for non native invasive plants.    Read More

  Virginia - The feds consider brown trout to be an invasive species while a Va agency stocks fish in state waters.  Read More

States Tighten Bait Restrictions

   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

    The Kansas 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 to 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 More

    A rare stonefly species found in Glacier Natl. Park will not receive protection under the Endangered Species Act.  Read More

     Two gardening groups have quit volunteering at the Racine Zoo because zoo officials will not stop planting invasive species.  Read More

     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

April News 

   We have changed our name!  Effective March 29th The Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species has been renamed the Invasive Species Action Network. This new name better reflects the work we do. Which is focused on developing collaborative efforts that work to prevent the spread of all invasive species.

   We will continue to do most of our work through branded programs like the Clean Angling Coalition and the Riparian Weed Project and the name change will have no impact at all on how we conduct business.

   Although we are now using the new name it will take some time for us to change everywhere the old name is being used but we are working on it. None of our web addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses or email addresses will change.

  As fishing and boating season rapidly arrive, we find that many Western states are cranking up their boat inspection programs. Colorado and Idaho have begun their summer programs and the other states will be right behind. These boat inspections are the cornerstone of the prevention effort so be sure to thank the workers whenever you are inspected this summer.. 

  There is lots of additional news that we have included this month. I hope we are providing stories that interest you. Email us at and let us know what you would like to see in future issues of the News.

Bob Wiltshire
Executive Director ISAN

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Postdoctoral Scholar Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator  - California

Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator wanted - Full time, permanent, SW Wisconsin

Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator wanted - Full time, 1 year or more, Lake Tahoe

Invasive Species Control Technician wanted - Full time, summer positions, Newport, OR

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Outreach Assistant wanted - 3/4 time, 3 yrs or longer - Glencoe, Illinois

Aquatic Invasive Plant Specialist wanted - Full time, permanent, MT Dept. of Agriculture

The Clean Angling News is regularly produced by the Invasive Species Action Network. If you have questions, suggestions or would like to learn more about invasive species please contact us:
Invasive Species Action Network
215 East Lewis, #201
Livingston, MT  59047