The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is urging anglers to report and dispose of any invasive Northern Snakehead fish that may be caught in the lower Susquehanna River. This advisory follows the documented movement of 21 Northern Snakeheads past the Conowingo Dam into the Conowingo Pool, a 14-mile-long section of the Susquehanna River located between the Conowingo Dam in Maryland and the Holtwood Dam in Pennsylvania. Anglers are reminded that possession, transport, and importation of a live snakehead is unlawful in both Pennsylvania and Maryland. Any of these invasive fish that are caught should be killed and disposed of properly or consumed. Anglers who suspect they have caught a snakehead are encouraged to NOT release it, and report it to the PFBC at (610) 847-2442 or by sending an email to email@example.com. For more information on Northern Snakeheads in Pennsylvania, including an identification guide, visit the PFBC snakehead resource page.
Invasive Species Resources
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Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding Eau Claire and Richland Counties in Wisconsin to the list of quarantine areas for gypsy moth (GM). The GM populations in these counties have reached the threshold to trigger the quarantine expansion. To prevent the further spread of GM, the attached Federal Order (PDF | 186 KB) establishes Eau Claire and Richland Counties in Wisconsin as quarantine areas. Effective immediately, all interstate movement of GM-regulated articles from Eau Claire and Richland Counties must be handled in accordance with the attached Federal Order. Wisconsin has established a parallel state quarantine.
University of Kentucky. College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment.
The Asian longhorned tick, which preys on a variety of hosts including humans and wild and domestic animals, has been found in Kentucky. This new tick is known to attack animals in large numbers and will be a concern to livestock producers, wildlife enthusiasts and pet owners. The tick has been found in small numbers on elk in Martin County and black bear in Floyd County. It was found in large numbers on a bull in Metcalfe County in the south-central part of the state. Individuals who find a usually large number of ticks on their pet or livestock should contact their local veterinarian. Those who find single ticks they think might be an Asian longhorned tick should work with their county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources to submit the sample to UK entomologists for positive identification.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development today announced the addition of beech leaf disease to the state's invasive species watch list. Invasive species on the watch list have been identified as posing an immediate or potential threat to Michigan's economy, environment or human health. These species either have never been confirmed in the wild in Michigan or have a limited known distribution. Beech leaf disease is associated with the microscopic worm Litylenchus crenatae, a nematode that enters and spends the winter in leaf buds, causing damage to leaf tissue on American beech and European and Asian beech species. Infestations result in darkened, thick tissue bands between leaf veins, creating a striped effect on the leaves, leaf distortion and bud mortality. Trees weakened by leaf damage become susceptible to other diseases and can die within six years. Beech leaf disease has not been found in Michigan. The disease was first discovered in Ohio in 2012. Since then, it has been identified in seven eastern states and Ontario.
Montana Invasive Species Council.
Montana’s economy could see more than $230 million in annual mitigation costs and lost revenue if invasive mussels become established in the state, according to a report released by the Montana Invasive Species Council (MISC). Commissioned by MISC and completed by the University of Montana Flathead Biological Station, the economic impact study provides “a snapshot of projected direct costs to affected stakeholders dependent on water resources,” said Bryce Christiaens, MISC chair. “It does not reflect the total economic impact to the state, which would be considerably higher.” View a one-page fact sheet (PDF | 484 KB) or the full report (PDF | 4.0 MB).
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The governors of Illinois and Michigan today agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gov. JB Pritzker today announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project. Further strengthening the path forward, the State of Illinois also signed a separate PED agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the initial Brandon Road design. The state will serve as the non-federal sponsor, agreeing to help fund design of a portion of the project and to further advance full project design efforts to approximately 30 percent completion.
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois, is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the invasive Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. The Brandon Road project would install layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing barge passage.
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking freight carriers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers to be on the lookout for invasive spotted lanternfly after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed dead spotted lanternfly insects were found in Michigan in recent weeks. While the specimens found were dead, these cases demonstrate one of the many ways this insect could find its way into the state. There is no evidence of established populations of spotted lanternfly in Michigan.
If you find a spotted lanternfly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or call MDARD's Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939. If possible, collect a specimen in a container for verification. For additional information on identifying or reporting spotted lanternfly, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.
Montana Department of Agriculture.
The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has issued an emergency quarantine order to protect against the introduction and spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive wood-boring beetle that has already killed millions of ash trees in North America. The order was motivated by the removal of federal domestic quarantine regulations by the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). "It is important that we remain vigilant and do everything in our power to make sure that the emerald ash borer doesn’t find a way into Montana," said MDA Director Mike Foster. "This quarantine order protects the green ash woodland resources in eastern Montana that provide habitat for many wildlife species as well as economic benefits to livestock producers and rural communities."
Montana’s emergency quarantine order restricts EAB from entering the state in any form, as well as the movement of live ash trees, parts of ash trees capable of harboring live EAB, and any other articles determined potentially hazardous. MDA will accept public comment regarding the quarantine order until February 26, 2021.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Montana Invasive Species Council.
The Montana and Washington invasive species councils have joined forces to stop wild pigs from crossing borders. The two councils issued a report with recommendations and best management practices aimed at helping federal, state, provincial and local landowners manage wild pigs in the western United States and Canada. "Wild pig populations are expanding in the western provinces of Canada and in the United States." said Stephanie Criswell, coordinator of the Montana Invasive Species Council. "We are at a unique point in time where we can work together to prevent Canadian wild pigs from spreading across borders into unaffected states like Montana."
In early 2020, the two invasive species councils convened a working group of more than 40 federal, state and Canadian feral swine experts to discuss challenges and opportunities to prevent feral swine along interstate and international borders. Finalized this month, the report includes 22 recommendations that address five strategic areas of feral swine management. Recommendations include standardizing communications to the public, expanding monitoring networks by partnering with non-traditional organizations such as hunting groups, and formalizing notification protocols for reports that will be shared between state and provincial authorities along the international border. The complete report can be found at misc.mt.gov.
Michigan's Invasive Species Program.
If your leisure-time plans include boating or fishing in Michigan, recent changes in Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) may affect you. Beginning March 21, watercraft users in the state are required to take steps to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Also, anyone fishing with live or cut bait or practicing catch-and-release fishing will need to take precautions to limit the movement of invasive species and fish diseases.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
For landscapes plagued by autumn olive or entangled in oriental bittersweet, a new website offers help identifying and managing woody invasive plants like these. WoodyInvasives.org, developed by the Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative, contains a wealth of information about how to distinguish woody invasive species from similar beneficial plants, an interactive map showing how these species are regulated by Great Lakes jurisdictions, detailed management approaches and noninvasive woody plant ideas for gardeners and landscape designers. "We developed the WIGL Collaborative website to help people learn to identify the woody invasive plants around them and to feel empowered to start controlling them on their properties or in their favorite green places," said Clair Ryan, coordinator of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, the organization leading the effort.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Wisconsin's recently revised aquatic invasive species (AIS) management plan is now final and available for use by the public after receiving approvals from the National Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. Wisconsin last completed an AIS management plan in 2002. Wisconsin's AIS management plan serves multiple purposes, including maintaining Wisconsin's eligibility for funding and directing the AIS efforts of the DNR and partner groups. The new plan also introduces an invasion pathway management approach that will help Wisconsin systematically limit how invasive species move into and throughout Wisconsin. The plan can be downloaded here (PDF | 3.89 MB).
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today announced that twelve counties have been added to Pennsylvania's Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zone ahead of the 2020 spring hatch. With this addition, the quarantine (PDF | 506 KB) for this invasive pest is now at 26 counties. The new dozen counties are not completely infested, but rather have a few municipalities with a known infestation (PDF | 803 KB) which led to a quarantine being placed on the entire county out of an abundance of caution. Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, and York have been added to the quarantine for 2020. For more information on Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania, visit https://agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that the department is launching an effort at nine state parks this summer to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, and get boaters involved in invasive species detection. "Boats, motors, and trailers have ideal hiding spots where species may attach, and be transported to new locations," Dunn said. "Boaters must be involved in helping us protect state park waters from invaders, to benefit our environment and avoid very costly measures to treat lakes once these non-native species take hold." Starting this week, DCNR staff will be doing voluntary boat and trailer checks at boat launches on park lakes, handing out informational brochures and demonstrating how to do an inspection.
DOD. USACE. Omaha District.
A draft integrated letter report and programmatic environmental assessment has been developed to determine the economic and environmental impacts of federal participation in state-managed watercraft inspection programs along the Upper Missouri River Basin in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Public comments on the draft EA will be accepted until March 2, 2021.
The existing watercraft inspection programs are managed collaboratively by the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, where watercraft transported along highways are inspected for the presence of aquatic invasive species and decontaminated when detected. If approved, federal participation in the program would be cost-shared (50 percent) with each of the states, and would employ a regional strategy to identify locations that would provide the greatest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species to reservoirs operated and maintained by the Corps in the Upper Missouri River Basin.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Trying to reduce the spread of invasive species in Rhode Island waters, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has amended the state's Freshwater Fisheries Regulations to prohibit the transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on any type of boat, motor, trailer, fishing supplies, or gear. The new regulation carries a $100 fine for each violation. "Many of the aquatic invasive plants in Rhode Island can reproduce from just one small plant fragment and do not need entire root systems to successfully establish in a new spot," said Katie DeGoosh-DiMarzio, Environmental Analyst with DEM's Office of Water Resources. "Cleaning off every bit of plant from recreational gear used at one pond is essential before visiting another — this includes boats, kayaks, canoes, motors, trailers, paddles, jet skis, fishing gear, waders, water tubes, and anchors. These efforts help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island waterbodies."
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is asking Rhode Islanders to monitor their beech trees for signs of leaf damage from Beach Leaf Disease (BLD). Early symptoms of BLD include dark striping on the tree's leaves parallel to the leaf veins and are best seen by looking upward into the backlit canopy. Drastic leaf loss occurs for heavily symptomatic leaves during the growing season and may appear as early as June, while asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic leaves show no or minimal leaf loss. BLD was detected in the Ashaway area of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, in 2020 and in coastal Massachusetts. Before these findings, the disease was only known to be in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.
Because of the seemingly random nature of disease in Rhode Island, DEM encourages homeowners and forest landowners to monitor their beech trees and report any suspected cases of BLD on DEM's Invasive Species Sighting Report webpage. Although BLD is relatively new in the U.S. and information is limited, links to additional information about the disease and photos are posted on the Division of Forest Environment's Current Threats page. If people have further questions, they should contact a licensed arborist or email Nancy Stairs, forestry program supervisor in DEM's Division of Forest Environment, via Nancy.Stairs@dem.ri.gov.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant threat to Pennsylvania’s economy, freshwater resources, and native aquatic species. Pennsylvania Sea Grant announces 'there’s an app for that' with the launch of "PA AIS," a new, easy-to-use smart phone application. The "PA AIS" app is now available in the Apple App Store, with an Android version anticipated. The "PA AIS" app can be used in airplane mode or in areas outside of coverage, making it ideal for use in the field. Users can identify AIS and submit a report to the state AIS coordinator, including the location, severity, and photos of the suspected infestation. Illustrations help users learn more about each species to ensure accurate identification in the field. Prevention tips help educate freshwater enthusiasts such as anglers and boaters about the steps they can take to properly clean gear and ensure that AIS are not transported from one water body to another.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing that two exotic species of Asian and Eurasian ticks have been detected for the first time on Block Island. It was confirmed by DNA and morphological characteristics that they are ticks not previously found in Rhode Island. Dr. Danielle M. Tufts identified the tick species Haemaphysalis longicornis and Haemaphysalis punctata when studying ticks on Block Island this summer.
Haemaphysalis longicornis, also called the Asian longhorned tick, was first detected in the United States in 2017 in New Jersey. Haemaphysalis punctata is native to Europe and has not been previously detected in a natural setting in North America. H. punctata is sometimes known as the "red sheep tick" in its native range. The center of its distribution is the southern half of Europe, including England, and there are some established populations along North African coastal areas. The finding on Block Island is notable because this tick is not known to exist outside of its home range.