Sep 1, 2011

Boaters Urged to Slow Spread of Aggressive Invasive Plant Hydrilla


Labor Day Weekend - thousands of boaters take to the waters of the Finger Lakes in Central NY. As hundreds of those boaters head out onto Cayuga Lake, they are being warned to keep an eye out for an invasive aquatic weed that has the potential to disrupt the Lake's ecosystem and diminish their future enjoyment of boating, swimming, and fishing activities on the lake.

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York Invasive Species Program, in cooperation with many a broad coalition of local and state partners, is asking boaters to be part of the effort to prevent the spread of hydrilla, first spotted in the Cayuga Inlet in early-August. A rapid response plan to eradicate the plant in the Inlet is under development to prevent the spread of hydrilla, but resource managers point out that the public also can play a major part in preventing this invader from speading to the rest of the lake and to other Finger Lakes and inland lakes, as well.

A boaters, whether they have motorized or non-motorized craft need to become educated on the plant and to follow clean boating practices whenever they enter or leave the lake.

  • Avoid running watercraft through areas of densest infestation
  • Remove all plants, mud or debris from boats, trailers, or other equipment that come in contact with water
  • Dispose of this material in trash cans or on land where it cannot be washed into any pond, lake or stream
  • Drain all water from boats before leaving a launch area
  • Clean and dry anything that came in contact with Cayuga Lake water (including your dogs!)

Hydrilla poses a serious threat to the lake ecosystem because it grows aggressively, creates thick mats of vegetation that choke waterway,shades out native aquatic plants, reduces the quality of habitat for fish, waterfowl, insects and other beneficial organisms, interferes with boating, fishing, and swimming, reduces shoreline property values, and can cost million of dollars to control.

Click here for full text of New York Invasive Species Research Institute September 1st press release on hydrilla in the Cayuga Inlet.

Click here to view NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse Cayuga Lake Hydrilla brochure and map