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Thread: Invasive algae (nicknames-Didymo-Rock )showing up especially

  1. #1
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    Default Invasive algae (nicknames-Didymo-Rock )showing up especially

    Fished the Smith River in Henry Co., VA last week and the bottom, from the dam three miles down stream, was almost completely white with this new invasive algae. Also fished about 12-14 miles downstream and it was all over the rocks there too. At local TU meeting last week it was reported in the Jackson River tailwaters in Alleghaney Co, VA below the Lake Moomaw Dam and some large mats were reported in the South Holston in the Tennessee waters as well. Need to start carrying or spray waders and clean equipment, boats etc. Article and id info follows. Apologize for the length of this post but thought it was important to note.

    "TVA River Neighbors
    august 2005


    Invasive algae show up in some TVA tailwaters

    image of algaeTVA scientists have recently confirmed the presence of a freshwater diatom (a single-celled algal species) in the reaches of river below Watauga and South Holston Dams.

    Its taxonomic name is Didymosphenia geminata, but it is commonly referred to as ?Didymo.? No one?s exactly sure how it got here, but it could be that human activity or waterfowl were the culprits ? unwittingly transferring it from one waterbody to another. However it happened, it?s not good news, according to TVA Scientist Tyler Baker: ?Any time a non-native species is introduced to an aquatic environment, there are likely to be implications. We will be watching closely to see how Didymo affects Valley waterways.?

    Didymo thrives in cool, clear, nutrient-poor water, where it tends to form massive blooms that result in algal mats. Believed to be native to northern Europe, Canada, and other regions in the Northern Hemisphere, it appears to have recently exhibited a greater tolerance for different conditions, gradually expanding its geographic range. While it has been found in some streams in the Western U.S. ? as well as in the White River in Arkansas ? this is the first confirmed record of the diatom occurring east of the Mississippi River.

    Most often found on the bottom of streams and rivers, Didymo attaches itself by stalks to the gravelly bottom of the stream or riverbed ? smothering rocks and submerged plants. ?This is a concern for a number of reasons,? explains Baker. ?It reduces the area of clean substrate upon which fish nest and lay eggs. The resulting change in habitat could conceivably cause a shift in the types of aquatic insects present. It also tends to outcompete and limit the growth of native algal species, many of which are food sources for aquatic insects ? which, in turn, are preyed upon by fish and other creatures.? Didymo also has caused problems by clogging water intakes in British Columbia streams, according to Baker.

    Didymo seems to become easily established in lake-fed or regulated rivers (below dams), where stable water currents are likely to promote further growth by transferring plenty of nutrients to the mat surface. Cold tailwaters (the areas immediately downstream of dams) and streams are the most likely candidates, says Baker: ?Apalachia is at the top of my list ? given Didymo?s habitat preference. We?ll also be closely watching other reservoir tailwaters and streams throughout the Valley. It could easily find a home it likes at Norris, Blue Ridge, Nottely, and possibly Chatuge or Tims Ford tailwaters.?

    The good news is that TVA monitoring efforts have not yet indicated any recent declines in fish or aquatic insect populations in the Watauga or South Holston tailwaters. ?We conduct annual sampling in these tailwaters,? says Baker, ?and we have quite a bit of historical data that should tell us a lot about densities and composition. That?ll be a big advantage when it comes to spotting any trends that might be attributable to the proliferation of Didymo.?

    How can you tell if an algal bloom (a common occurrence this time of year) is actually Didymo? First of all, it?s much more likely to be found in a stream or river; algal blooms in reservoirs are usually indicative of another species. It appears as a thick white, light gray, pale yellow-brown, or beige (not green) mass, which may cover over 90 percent of the river bottom in many reaches. Once established, it may look like a brown shag carpet covering the whole river or stream bottom. It frequently forms flowing ?rat?s tails? that often turn white at their ends and look a lot like lengths of toilet paper. Although Didymo looks slimy, it?s actually more spongy and feels sort of scratchy ? rather like wet cotton wool. While it does not appear to affect the safety of drinking water, taste and odor problems may be a concern.

    You can help slow the spread of Didymo in Valley waters by taking these precautions:

    * Before leaving the river, check your shoes, waders, life vest, boat hull, tires, and other equipment for clumps of algae, taking care to search within creases or compartments. Leave clumps at the site.
    * If you discover clumps of algae after leaving the area, do not wash them down the drain. Treat them in a 2 percent solution of household bleach or a 5 percent solution of salt, antiseptic hand cleaner, or dishwashing detergent. Infected equipment can also be treated by drying completely for at least two days.
    * Under no circumstances should fish, plants, or other items be moved from an affected waterway to an unaffected waterway.

    If you spot an algal mat in a stream or river that you believe might be Didymo, please contact Tyler Baker at 423-876-6733."

  2. #2

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    Barley straw may also control single-cell algae (phytoplankton) populations. This results in very clear water which allows for more sunlight to reach submerged plants, resulting in lush growth.

    I would check out the barley, it works great on my ponds and single cell algae is minimized dramaticaly. 2 bales per acre of water in a pond, good luck re the streams. grrrrr

    My .02

    Philip

    ------------------
    Excuse my spelling and Gramma, I hooked mondays and Fridays so I could either hunt or fish.
    Excuse my spelling and grammar, I hooked Mondays and Fridays to either fish or hunt.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like algae I saw here in Texas on the Guadalupe River tailrace last august. Seemed to die off during the cooler times of the year though.

    Do the number take reports of this algae from anywhere, or is it a regional thing?


    [This message has been edited by Bill Blake (edited 24 June 2006).]

  4. #4

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    This is one of the newer developments in the Arkansas tailwaters too.

    ------------------
    My New Year's resolution is to have more fun...even if YOU don't.

  5. #5
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    Bill Blake,

    I believe the reporting number at the bottom of the article refers to just the TVA area; but, they may accept reports from other areas. You could probably report it to your state DEQ folks, Fish & Game biologists or any other water quality entities. One of the folks at our TU meeting, that teaches water sampling collection etc., said that we could collect samples and submit them and the DEQ folks seemed interested in that too.

    Missed a word in the title of this article. Another nickname for it is "Rock Snot!"

  6. #6
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    This stuff must move in fairly rapidly. Fished that same river a year ago - from Basset up to the dam. No sign of any problems at that time... I/we know how "exotics" get easily transported unawares. Stewardship encompases more than a financial arena.

    ------------------
    Live each day as if it were your last, some day you'll be right!
    Eternal decisions can only be made on this side of eternity.

  7. #7

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    We have a problem with this here in the South island of NZ. At present it is in but a small percentage of our southern rivers, but it is scary just how fast it establishes itself. My home water, the Oreti was confirmed a didymo affected water in october 2005, and by early december a section of river was thick, bank to bank with this algae. However, flood eventrs in janurary cleared the river completley, and it remained fishable right through to seasons end, and then only small blooms could be seen.

    check out [url=http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo:ccfe5]www.biosecurity.govt.nz/didymo[/url:ccfe5] for extensive information about this algae, and studies on its incursion to our waters

    clean all gear appropriatly in a 5% bleach solution whenever moving to new waters, and treat every water as infected. We in NZ know hopw easily it is spread!

    chris

    ------------------
    Mataura river fly fishing [url=http://www.troutsafaris.co.nz:ccfe5]http://www.troutsafaris.co.nz[/url:ccfe5]




    [This message has been edited by Chris Dore 1 (edited 25 June 2006).]

  8. #8
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    Chris, Thanks for the info link. We've had torrential rains here last 24 or less hours; so. maybe some of the streams will clean themselves out of the Didymo, at leats for now. Spending the day cleaning and trying to dry the house out. Water came into basement so fast it looked like there was fishable riffles as it came across the laundry room floor into the drain. Luckily, the folks that originally built our house installed drains in the basement floor and one in the outside stairway. But, when I started to open the door to clear it of grass and sticks it was over a foot deep and flowing in. Also had leakage through the cinderblock walls in the rec room, laundry room and a downstairs bedroom. We had about a 6" shot so far with more predicted next two days. That's what happens when you're in a drought and pray for rain!!! We got it all at once. Some places had 12" or more overnight. In our Washington, DC Capitol area they're pumping water out of the Internal Revenue and the National Archives buildings. The Archives records are safe; but, nobody would miss any Internal revenue tax records that might be lost! Just kidding Homeland Security monitors.

    [This message has been edited by Grn Mt Man (edited 26 June 2006).]

  9. #9
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    empeekay,

    Seems like the Mon. thru Fri. releases from the dam haven't moved much of the Didymo out of the Smith River; but, am hoping that the rain we had last night and today may scour some of the stuff off the rocks and vegetation. Really would like to see this stuff gone.

  10. #10
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    Sarah Spaulding at the Environmental Protection Agency probably would like to know if you have seen it on the Guadalupe or any where else.
    [url=http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/monitoring/didymosphenia.html:efeb9]http://www.epa.gov/region8/water/monitoring/didymosphenia.html[/url:efeb9]
    dB
    Sanitize your FF equipment and wash your boat, trailer, livewells & sumps. Wash your wading dog

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