Spiny Water Fleas Have Arrived – What Next?

Spiny Water Flea, Bythotrephes longimanus (Credit: Kate Feil via USGS.gov)

On August 25 four individual spiny water fleas were found during routine monitoring of Lake Champlain. The invasive exotic zooplankton species were discovered in the middle portion of the Main Lake between Burlington and Port Kent. Since then they have been confirmed from a total of three monitoring stations. They had previously colonized Lake George and their arrival in Lake Champlain, though disappointing, is not unexpected. Read on to learn more about their potential impacts, the Champlain … [Read more...]

Feral Pigs in the Adirondacks

feral pig

It's time to reexamine our previous post, "Feral Pigs in Champlain Valley," with an update on the situation in the Adirondacks. Feral pigs (feral swine/wild boars/razorbacks/wild hogs--whatever you call them) have made their presence known locally in New York State. Feral pigs have established a breeding population on the eastern edge of the Adirondack Park. Scientists fear the animals could spread fast, wiping out native animals and damaging crops. [...] Pigs breed fast, with populations … [Read more...]

Monitor Lake Champlain: Blue-Green Algae & Invasives

Lake Champlain Committee

The Lake Champlain Committee is dedicated to protecting Lake Champlain. They recently created a pledge to protect the Lake Champlain so you can learn how to protect the lake too! But you can do more than just take the pledge and practice environmentally safe actions; you can volunteer to help patrol the lake for the committee! Right now they are looking for more volunteers to help monitor the lake for blue-green algae and other problematic species this summer. Blue-Green Algae Blue-green algae … [Read more...]

Feral Pigs in Champlain Valley

feral pig

It sounds strange, but feral pigs (wild boars/razorbacks/wild hogs--whatever you call them) seem to have made a home in New York State. Normally we hear about these animals in states further south, but somehow this summer they had made their presence known locally! These animals are not a natural species in the Champlain Valley, and hence can upset local ecosystems, including becoming problems for farmers. This summer there were reports of a group of feral pigs in Peru, NY, that had begun … [Read more...]

Are Lampreys an Invasive Species?

300px-Sunset_on_Lake_Champlain_from_Burlington,_VT

There is some debate about the origins of the sea lamprey in Lake Champlain. Some call them invasive species, but recently there have been discoveries that may point to this disliked species being more local than previously thought. Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to an area, and when introduced become a problem to the original ecosystem. Sea lampreys have been causing some problems in Lake Champlain, but are they invaders or simply a species that has grown out of … [Read more...]

Lake Champlain Lamprey Problem

lamprey

The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is one of four lamprey species found in the Lake Champlain Basin out of 31 species found world-wide. According to some, the sea lamprey species is proving to be a problematic presence in Lake Champlain. What is a Lamprey? Lampreys are eel-shaped fish with a skeleton made of cartilage, with smooth, scaleless skin and two dorsal fins on their backs. "The sea lamprey is parasitic; it feeds on other fish, using a suction disk mouth filled with small sharp, … [Read more...]

Leek Moth Invasion

Leek moths invade Essex County

Shortly after adding two flats of baby leeks to our vegetable garden, the phone rang and my mother burst my vichyssoise bubble. "Did you read about the leek moths?" my mother asked dramatically. "The what?" "Leek moths," she repeated as if I should know what she was talking about. "No. Just finished planting my leeks though..." She summarized the article she'd just read in the The Valley News about an invasive moth species recently spotted in Essex County. Anita Deming of Cornell … [Read more...]