Sep 21, 2012

Hydrilla Discovered in Erie Canal in North Tonawanda

Hydrilla, considered by many to be one of the worst aquatic invasive plants in the world, has been discovered by a US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda. The identity of the plant was confirmed by experts at a Hydrilla symposium last week in Syracuse.

Coupled with last year’s discovery in the heart of the Finger Lakes in the Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca, NY, this new discovery could signal a very high threat of spread in New York and beyond via natural water flow through the Niagara River, the Erie Canal and NYS Barge Canal system, and to inland waterbodies and rivers, as well as the Great Lakes by recreational boating (likely the highest risk vector for spreading the plant).

Boaters, anglers and others recreators on New York’s waters are asked to help stop the spread of this and other aquatic invasive species by inspecting their boats and gear for any plants, mud or tiny animals, removing any such hitchhikers, and cleaning and drying all boats and gear. The use of DEC’s aquatic invasive species disposal stations at boat launches is urged when available.

Hydrilla can out-compete native aquatic plant species and dominate aquatic ecosystems. It is easily spread due to its ability to from plant fragments, overwintering buds, and tubers.

Click here for the NYS DEC's full press release.

Click here for the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse Western NY / Erie Canal Hydrilla brochure

Click here for Rev. 3.0 of the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse statewide 3-fold brochure Statewide on Hydrilla impacts and prevention.

Click here for the NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse factsheet on how to ensure a boat is Hydrilla-free before winterizing

Click here to visit the Clearinghouse's Hydrilla species profile