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Tag Archive | "invasive species"

European frogbit detected in West Michigan lakes


 

Frogbit leaf: European frogbit leaves, shown here, are similar in shape, though much smaller than those of the water lily.

Frogbit leaf: European frogbit leaves, shown here, are similar in shape, though much smaller than those of the water lily.

Invasive species alert

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the presence of European frogbit, a prohibited aquatic invasive plant, in Reeds and Fisk lakes in the city of East Grand Rapids. European frogbit was first verified in Michigan in 1996 along the Great Lakes waterways in southeastern Michigan and has since been found in areas along Lake Huron and the eastern Upper Peninsula. The detections on Reeds and Fisk lakes represent the westernmost known locations of this invasive plant in Michigan and the Midwest.

Frogbit colony: Dense colonies of European frogbit can develop quickly in shallow, slow-moving water.

Frogbit colony: Dense colonies of European frogbit can develop quickly in shallow, slow-moving water.

Staff from PLM Lake and Land Management Corporation initially identified the plant during a routine lake inspection and reported the finding through the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), triggering a notification to the DNR and the Department of Environmental Quality’s Aquatic Invasive Response Team. The team currently is assessing the risk level of the situation and working with partners in the community, including the city of East Grand Rapids, Kent Conservation District and the West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, to develop an action plan.

What is European frogbit?

A native of Europe and parts of Africa and Asia, European frogbit is an aquatic plant with small (half-inch to 2.5 inch), heart-shaped leaves resembling miniature water lilies. Unlike similar aquatic plants, European frogbit does not anchor its roots in the lake or stream bed but remains free-floating. Three-petaled white flowers with yellow centers appear briefly sometime between mid-July and mid-August.

Why is it a problem?

The plant quickly forms dense colonies or mats in shallow, slow-moving waters. These thick mats prevent native plant growth, make movement difficult for ducks and large fish, and cause problems for boaters, anglers and swimmers.

European frogbit is spread by plant fragments or by turions—small, quarter-inch buds that break off the plant and overwinter in lake or stream beds. Plant parts easily can be transported to new water bodies on boat motors or trailers, fishing gear and other recreational equipment.

What can be done?      

“Detecting European frogbit in West Michigan is a call to action to all lake, stream and wetland users to clean, drain and dry boats and gear,” said Kevin Walters, an invasive species aquatic biologist with the DEQ. “Take the simple steps of removing all plants and debris from boats, trailers and gear and draining bilges and live wells before leaving a site. Allow boats and equipment to dry for at least five days before moving to another water body.”

Walters said that even waders, fishing nets and inner tubes can harbor invasive species and should be thoroughly dried in the sun or cleaned with a 2-percent bleach solution before being used at a different location.

What if I see European frogbit?

Anyone can help by reporting suspected European frogbit. The easiest way to report this harmful invasive plant is through the MISIN website, at www.misin.msu.edu or by downloading the MISIN app to a smartphone.

First, become familiar with identifying the plant. MISIN offers a short identification tutorial which helps distinguish between European frogbit and similar aquatic plants.

If you encounter European frogbit on the water, take some photos. These can be uploaded on the MISIN website or attached to a report via the MISIN app. Reports are directed through MISIN to DNR and DEQ aquatic biologists.

For more information on European frogbit and other invasive species, visit Michigan’s invasive species website at www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

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Help prevent spread of invasive New Zealand mudsnail


 

Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

In 2015, the Michigan departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources confirmed the presence of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail in the Pere Marquette River near Baldwin, which is a popular destination for trout and salmon anglers.

New Zealand mudsnails are each only about 1/8 inch long and can be difficult to see. However, these snails can significantly change the aquatic habitats they live in by reaching extremely high densities. When that happens, they can out-compete native species that are important food sources for trout. They also have no nutritional value for trout species that may feed upon them, which can negatively affect the overall condition of the trout.

The threat of New Zealand mudsnail spreading to new waters is high because they are easily transported via recreational users, such as anglers, due to their ability to attach to fishing equipment, wading gear and other hard surfaces. Once attached, they can hitch a ride to a new river or lake and begin the invasive process again. Additionally, a single snail can reproduce once transported.

New Zealand mudsnails are very resilient and have been known to survive in damp environments for up to 26 days.

As the spring fishing season gears up, anglers are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to target steelhead on the Pere Marquette and other popular Michigan rivers. It is important for anglers to clean, drain and dry their equipment to help prevent the spread of these invasive snails, as well as all types of aquatic invasive species.

Anglers are encouraged to clean boats and equipment (including waders) with hot water or a diluted bleach solution, and, when possible, allow the equipment to dry for at least five days before reusing.

Additional information about the New Zealand mudsnail and other aquatic invasive species can be found at michigan.gov/invasives.

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Sporting swine classified as invasive species


A Department of Natural Resources director’s order listing sporting swine as an invasive species took effect over the weekend on Oct. 8, making it illegal to possess the animals in Michigan.
“Absent a regulatory program in Michigan law for sporting swine facilities, the invasive species order is being put into effect,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes.
Stokes said active enforcement of the invasive species order will not start prior to April 1, 2012, with compliance visits to swine shooting and breeding facilities planned after that date.
Sporting swine facilities can use the next six months to schedule hunts to reduce the population of sporting swine on their properties. Facilities still in possession of sporting swine on April 1, 2012, may face violations and fines.
The DNR acted to list sporting swine as an invasive species to help stop the spread of invasive swine across the State to eliminate the disease risk they pose to humans, domestic pigs and wildlife, and to prevent damage to agricultural and other lands. The state is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to eradicate feral swine. Legislation was also passed last year allowing people with any valid hunting license to shoot feral swine on public land and on private land with the permission of the landowner.
For more information on feral swine in Michigan, or to report all feral swine sightings, kills and damage, go to www.michigan.gov/feralswine.

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