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GLIN==> NYSDEC Finds Spiny Water Flea beyond Great Lakes

Previously Found in Great Lakes, the Invasive Species Now in Great
Sacandaga Lake

	The spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species, has been
confirmed as present in the Great Sacandaga Lake in the southern
Adirondacks, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) announced today.  Previously, it had been identified in the Great
Lakes. This is first time the spiny water flea has been confirmed in an
“inland” body of water.

	“Unfortunately, another invasive species has spread in the
waters of New York State,” said Steve Sanford, chief of DEC’s Office
of Invasive Species. “We are doing our best to alert fishermen,
boaters and all users of New York waters to the presence of the spiny
water flea and to promote practices that minimize the spread of theses

	Native to Eurasia, spiny water fleas are crustaceans that can
have a huge impact on aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid
reproduction rates. In warmer water temperatures, these water fleas can
hatch, grow to maturity, and lay eggs in as few as two weeks. But that
is not the only challenge presented by this invasive species. Sometimes,
its eggs can remain in a dormant state for years before hatching, making
tracking it and limiting its spread very difficult.

The spiny water flea feeds on tiny crustaceans and other zooplankton -
putting them in direct competition with fish and other native aquatic
organisms for this important food source. In addition, the tail spines
of the spiny water flea hook on fishing lines and foul fishing gear.
	Spiny water fleas were first found in Lake Huron in 1984; a year
later in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The most likely source for their
introduction is ballast water discharges from ocean-going ships that
traveled up the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Great Lakes.

	This is the first confirmation of their presence in non-border
body of water in New York State.  It is not known how or when they were
introduced into Great Sacandaga Lake. The adult,  larvae, or eggs may
have been brought in by  bait bucket, bilge water,  live well,  boat,
canoe, kayak, trailer or fishing equipment.

	Currently, there are no successful means to control or eradicate
this and many other aquatic invasive species, so preventing their spread
is the only way to limit their impact. It is very important that
boaters, anglers and other recreational enthusiasts take precautions to
avoid transporting this and other invasive species, particularly after
leaving a water body known to have an aquatic invasive species. DEC
strongly recommends the following precautions: 

-  INSPECT & CLEAN your fishing and boating equipment and remove all
mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to them.

-  DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another
body of water.  Drying is the most effective "disinfection" mechanism
and is least likely to damage sensitive equipment and clothing. All
fishing and boating equipment, clothing and other gear should be dried
completely before moving to another body of water. This may take a week
or more depending upon the type of equipment, where it is stored and
weather conditions. A basic rule of thumb is to allow at least 48 hours
for drying most non-porous fishing and boating gear at relative humidity
levels of 70 percent or less.

-  DISINFECT your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried
before its use in another body of water. Disinfection recommendations
vary depending on the type of equipment and disease or of concern. Be
particularly aware of bilge areas, livewells and baitwells in boats.
These areas are difficult to dry and can harbor invasive species.

	Last year, DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis announced the formation
of a new “Office of Invasive Species”
(http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/40816.html) that helps bring together
biologists and foresters to develop ways to combat invasive species, and
work with universities, other state agencies and non-profit
organizations to support research and raise public awareness. From zebra
mussels to Eurasian water milfoil to Sirex wood wasps, hundreds of
non-native plants and animals have invaded New York - especially in the
last decade, likely linked to the rise in global shipping - posing
threats to ecosystems. See the DEC website for more information on
invasive species and how you can stop their spread:

USGS Spiny Water Flea Fact Sheet:

For photos, go to: ftp://ftp.dec.state.ny.us/dpae/press/SpinyWaterFlea/

For further information regarding this release, contact: David Winchell
at (518) 897-1248
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