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GLIN==> Invasive Species Workshops



July 20, 2000

Source: Patrice Charlebois, (847)872-0140
Contact: Debra Levey Larson
Media/Communications Specialist
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
(217)333-8055; dlarson@uiuc.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

URBANA-Would you recognize a zebra mussel if you saw one? Can you tell a sculpin from a round goby? If you can, you could be instrumental in helping prevent the spread of invasive species to lakes and rivers in Illinois. The zebra mussel is an invasive species that can clog boat engine cooling systems, foul boat hulls and change the ecology of inland waters. The sculpin is a small fish, native to lakes and streams in much of North America, while the round goby is an invasive species which can threaten the existence of the sculpin.
How to identify the zebra mussel and the round goby are just two of the things participants will learn at workshops being offered by University of Illinois Extension Specialists in cooperation with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Patrice Charlebois, Biological Resources Specialist with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant said, "Increasingly, exotic species are becoming a problem in lakes and rivers. These workshops will help people identify some key exotic species, and learn about their biology and potential impact. They'll also hear about ways that people can help prevent the spread of exotic species."
Anglers, boaters and other water recreationists are often among the first to spot a new invader in aquatic systems. If they recognize the invader and report it to the authorities, the spread of the invader to another body of water can be prevented. But if they are not familiar with the subtle differences between, for example, the sculpin and the round goby they may inadvertently aid the invasive species' spread by transporting it to another inland lake or river.
Charlebois continued, "Zebra mussels have already invaded our inland lakes and rivers, in many cases by hitching a ride on recreational boats, unbeknownst to the boat owner. This accidental spread of invasive species can be prevented almost entirely by following a few guidelines that will be presented at these workshops. I would encourage anyone who depends on the area lakes and rivers for income or recreation to attend."


Space is limited, so register early. Use the following information to register for the workshop in your area:

July 19, 2000, 7-9 p.m. in Danville, IL; contact John Peverly, (217)442-8615
July 25, 2000 in Carbondale, IL; contact Mike Plumer, (618)453-5563
August 16, 2000, 6-8 p.m. in Victoria, IL; contact Kyle Cecil, (309)342-5108
August 17, 2000, 7:309:30 p.m. in Apple River, IL; contact Mark Maidak, (815)858-2273
August 22, 2000, 7-9 p.m. in Grayslake, IL; contact Jim Betustak, (847)-223-8627

Photo options:
Male round goby: http://www.sgnis.org/publicat/slide/rg_s5.htm

Colony of zebra mussels: http://www.sgnis.org/publicat/slide/zm_s16.htm


For more information on how to prevent the spread of invasive species contact Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, (217)333-8055; dlarson@uiuc.edu or visit
http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/il-in-sg/exotics/prevention on the Internet.




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The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 29 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of Commerce, Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Debra Levey Larson, Media/Communications Specialist
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
University of Illinois
63 Mumford Hall, MC-710
1301 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801
tel 217-333-8055
fax 217-333-2614
e-mail dlarson@uiuc.edu
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