New Hampshire anglers and boaters: be on the lookout for a new invader! The aquatic nuisance algae known commonly as "Didymo" or "rock snot" has invaded the northern reaches of the Connecticut River, marking the first official report of Didymosphenia geminata in the northeastern U.S.
This diatom species already affects freshwater rivers and streams in other parts of the U.S., Canada (including Quebec province) and New Zealand. It is not known at this time how Didymo will affect water quality, aquatic habitat and fish populations in New Hampshire. N.H. Fish and Game and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services are monitoring the situation closely and working to stop its spread to other waterbodies in the state.
It is critical for anglers and boaters to be aware that Didymo is on the move and is easily spread by even just one cell of the alga breaking off and drifting downstream in infested reaches. It is also very easily spread by waders, fishing gear and other gear that touches the bottoms of streams in infested areas, so it is essential to check and clean your fishing gear to prevent the spread of Didymo and protect New Hampshire's waters.
Useful links to find out more about Didymo:
N.H. Department of Environmental Services web page on Didymo, with frequently asked questions, how to identify Didymo, and more details on regional sightings: des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/exoticspecies/didymo/index.htm
Interim Report: Invertebrate Drift and Trout Growth Potential in a Didymo-Affected Reach of the Mararoa River (New Zealand): www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/pests-diseases/plants/Didymo/Didymo-trout-impact-interim-oct-06.pdf
Be on the lookout for Didymo! If you see it in New Hampshire, contact Amy Smagula at the N.H. Department of Environmental Services at 603-271-2248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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