Aug 19, 2013

NYSDEC Announces Changes to Bighead Carp Regulations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that changes pertaining to the regulations governing the import, transport, possession and sale of bighead carp are now in effect.  The amended regulations ban the importation, possession and sale of live bighead carp in all of New York State.

Previously, New York*s regulations prohibited the possession and sale of fish species that DEC had determined to be a present danger to indigenous fish populations, including snakehead fish and three species of Asian Carp (including bighead carp). However, until now, the prohibitions included an exception that allowed bighead carp to be sold, possessed, transported, imported and exported in the five boroughs of the City of New York (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island) and the Westchester County towns of Rye, Harrison, and Mamaronek and all the incorporated cities or villages located therein.

As a result of federal action, all interstate transportation of live bighead carp was banned, so the exceptions in DEC*s regulations that provided for limited sale of bighead carp for human consumption, required repeal.  The amended regulations eliminate any possible confusion regarding the legal status of this species in New York, and will bolster efforts to prevent the spread of bighead carp into the Great Lakes states.

Aug 16, 2013

Lake George Officials Not Fooling Around Over Aquatic Invasive Species

On Sunday, August 4th, an inspection station set up at a boat launch at the north end of Lake George became the site of the first tickets issued for  boats carrying aquatic invasive species (AIS) on their trailers. The boats, both participating in a local bass fishing tournament were found to be carrying Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and water chestnut (Trapa natans). While milfoil is already found in the lake, this could have been the first known introduction of water chestnut into the waterbody.

The incident, which took place near Ticonderoga at the Mossy Point boat launch came less than two weeks after the Lake George Park Commission unanimously voted to create a mandatory boat-washing and inspection program for preventing the introduction of AIS into the Adirondack waterbody. The tickets were not, however, related to the new program which has yet to have regulations put in place.

Read more on The Glens Falls Post-Star website:

Fishermen ticketed for allegedly introducing 'invasive species' to Lake George

and on the Albany Times Union website:

Invasives detected, boaters ticketed


Aug 5, 2013

USDA Observes August As Tree Check Month

USDA Observes August As Tree Check Month And Asks The Public To Take 10 Minutes To Check Trees For Asian Longhorned Beetle

Washington: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) hasannounced that August is Tree Check Month and urges the public to check trees for signs of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

“August is a time of peak emergence for the beetle and is most likely when members of the public will see an adult beetle infesting trees,” states Scott Pfister, Director for USDA APHIS' Pest Management Division. “We’re asking people to take 10 minutes and check your trees for the beetle and any signs of damage it causes.”

Checking trees on your property or in your neighborhood means looking at the host trees the beetle attacks for the beetle itself or signs of damage caused by it. The most concerning signs are dime-sized exit holes, roughly ¼ inch or larger, perfectly round, found on the trunk and branches. You can look for round or oval shallow scars in the bark where the females chew oviposition (egg-laying) sites, and also for frass (excrement), a sawdust-like material, on the ground at the base of the tree or at the crotches of branches. Dead branches or canopy dieback can indicate something is wrong. Finally, look for the beetle itself on the tree trunk, branches, on the ground, and on nearby surfaces. With these unique characteristics, the Asian longhorned beetle stands out from other insects:


• Body is 1 to 1 ½ inches in length
• Long antennae banded in black and white (longer than the insect's body)
• Shiny, jet black body with random white spots
• Six legs

The most important thing you can do to protect your trees is to check them regularly and encourage others to do so too. Early detection is crucial in the fight against this invasive pest. It can mean the difference between the six infested trees lost in Boston vs. over 30,000 trees lost in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, once ALB infests a tree, there is no cure for that tree, but there are things we can do to save the rest.

USDA works closely with federal partners, states, communities and the public to combat the pest in areas where infested trees have already been found. While eradication has been declared in Illinois (2008), New Jersey (2013) and Islip, New York (2011), the eradication efforts continue in Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York. We all still need to stay vigilant and inspect trees regularly for signs of infestation, especially since trees in all states are at risk.

Learn more about invasive Wood Boring Beetles:

Click to visit our Asian Longhorned Beetle species profile

Click for USDA Search for theAsian Longhorned Beetle poster

Click for USDA, US Forest Service, University of Vermont 68-page Asian Longhorned Beetle and its Host Trees publication

Click to visit our Emerald Ash Borer pages