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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
Anglers and hunters and other boaters who use the state's waterways are being reminded by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Fisheries Division of a new regulation that took effect Jan. 1, 2021, requiring all boat drain plugs to be removed before and during trailering of vessels to and from access facilities on lakes, rivers and streams. A similar boat plug regulation was already in place in 21 other states to help stop the spread of aquatic nuisance species, and the new AGFC rule was part of an extensive list of regulations recommended by the Fisheries Division and approved by the Commission in 2020, to take effect beginning Jan. 1. Aquatic nuisance species such as silver carp, giant salvinia, zebra mussels and others continue to spread across waterbodies in Arkansas, and the AGFC has as its mission a responsibility to put mechanisms in place to slow the spread.
Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the release of the newly created Arkansas Feral Hog Handbook, a guide to resources available in Arkansas to assist with feral hog control and eradication. The handbook includes contact information, websites, and brief explanations of the resources offered by state and federal agencies and other entities. "The Arkansas Feral Hog Handbook was made possible through a grant funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. We appreciate their partnership and the information provided by other Feral Hog Eradication Task Force members to make the handbook a comprehensive educational resource for Arkansans," said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.
The handbooks are being distributed to the public at locations throughout the state with assistance from partner organizations, including the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Game and Fish, and Arkansas Farm Bureau. Copies of the handbook can be requested at email@example.com. An online version (2020; PDF | 4.48 MB) is also available.
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.
California Department of Food and Agriculture.
A state exterior quarantine has been declared to prohibit the introduction of the spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, into California. Spotted lanternfly was first detected in North American in 2014 in Pennsylvania and has now spread to nine states. The quarantine prohibits the entry into California of SLF, its host plants, and a variety of articles, including conveyances, originating from any area where an SLF infestation exists.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The goals of the California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) are to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and promote public participation in the fight against California's invasive species and their impacts on our natural resources.
Prevention is the most effective strategy in managing invasive species. However, hundreds of invasive plants and animals have already established in California and are rapidly spreading each year. These invaders are negatively impacting our waters, our native plants and animals (some of them rare, threatened, or endangered), our agriculture, our health, our economy, and our favorite recreational places. Help us celebrate California's Invasive Species Action Week, and more importantly, help stop the spread of invasive species, by volunteering to take action.
Learn how invasive species are affecting California, with Invasive Species Week Lunchtime Talks (June 7-11, 2021). Webinars are part of California Invasive Species Action Week, organized by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Webinars were recorded and available for viewing.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is proposing changes to regulations regarding harmful or potentially harmful fish, shellfish and aquatic plants. The proposed changes significantly reorganize the existing rules to enhance accessibility, meet the changing needs of the regulated community, and address current and potential future threats posed by these exotic species. The proposed rules will be published in the Texas Register no later than Friday, Oct. 2. At that time, comments on the changes can be provided on the TPWD public comment page until Monday, Nov. 9. The TPW Commission will take public comment on the proposed changes at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Austin. Comments on the proposed changes also can be submitted to Ken Kurzawski at (512) 389-4591, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) today announced that although freezing temperatures will kill off adult spotted lanternflies (SLF), the public is urged to stay vigilant and report overwintering egg masses. In the fall, SLF will lay their eggs on any flat surface such as vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone or other items which can be inadvertently transported to new areas. If this insect becomes established in New York, it could impact New York's forests, agricultural and tourism industries. "To date, there has not been a documented spotted lanternfly infestation in New York, but I encourage the public to stay aware and be ready to report egg masses or other signs of this insect to help prevent infestations," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.
Assistance from the public is crucial in limiting the movement of SLF and protecting New York's natural resources. DEC and DAM are urging the public to inspect outdoor items such as vehicles, outdoor furniture and camping equipment for egg masses or insects, and report any sightings by sending photos and location information to email@example.com. Anyone that visits locations of SLF quarantines in other states should look for and remove insects and egg masses on items before leaving those areas. For more information, please visit DEC's spotted lanternfly webpage.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first spotted lanternfly hatch of 2020. The first instar nymph of the season was reported by a department employee while surveying for the pest in the upper northeast corner of Cecil County near the Pennsylvania border.
See additional resources on the Maryland Department of Agriculture's site for Spotted Lanternfly for up-to-date information. For questions related to the quarantine, permitting, treatment, or to report a sighting of the spotted lanternfly, especially outside of the quarantine zone, call 410-841-5920 or email DontBug.MD@maryland.gov. If you report a spotted lanternfly via email, please provide the location of the sighting and your contact information.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). The partnership formed in the early 2000s as a task force to manage invasive feral swine, which root up crops and pastures causing billions in damage nationwide each year. Feral swine also spread disease to livestock, wildlife and humans. Ground-nesting birds and other wildlife are easy prey for feral swine. And the swine put native wildlife at risk by competing for resources and destroying habitats and ecosystems.
You can help keep Colorado free of feral swine:
- Spread the word that in Colorado it’s illegal to possess, transport or release feral swine, wild swine species or hybrids.
- Report sightings of feral swine or transportation activities to USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
- Get more information at the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
This week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced the eradication of the giant African land snail (GALS) from Broward and Miami-Dade counties. This eradication announcement marks only the second time this pest has been eradicated in the world, both in South Florida. For the past 11 years, the FDACS Division of Plant Industry has worked toward eradication through multiple rounds of visual surveys and inspections, K-9 detector dog surveys and inspections, manual collection and treatment programs. In total, 168,538 snails were collected from 32 core population areas comprised of thousands of properties.
The giant African land snail is a highly invasive agricultural pest, known to feed on over 500 varieties of plants. They also pose a risk to humans and animals by carrying rat lung worm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. Giant African land snail is a federally regulated pest and both the USDA and DPI will continue to remain vigilant in their commitments to safeguard American agriculture through surveys, early detection, and rapid response. The public should continue to watch for the snails and report suspects to the FDACS-DPI hotline at 1-888-397-1517.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
At its February 2021 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved staff recommendations to create new rules to address the importation, breeding and possession of high-risk invasive reptiles. The approved rule changes to Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. specifically address Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus, green iguanas and 13 other high-risk nonnative snakes and lizards that pose a threat to Florida’s ecology, economy, and human health and safety. For more information, see New Rules for Invasive Nonnative Reptiles.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
On Jan 10, 2020, the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl officially kicked off in South Florida with more than 550 people registered for the competition to remove as many pythons from the wild as possible. Native to Southeast Asia, pythons pose a significant threat to Florida’s native wildlife. Under the direction of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) have teamed up with the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and other partners to support the Committee’s Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, which features the Python Bowl. It’s not too late! People interested in taking part in the Florida Python Challenge™ 2020 Python Bowl can still register at FLPythonChallenge.org.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the opening of registration for the 2021 Florida Python Challenge® which will be held July 9-18, 2021. Registration is now open and members of the public can take the online training and then compete to remove invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. Visit FLPythonChallenge.org to register for the competition, take the online training, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®.
State of Wyoming.
Reflecting his goal of making Wyoming a national leader in the battle against invasive species, Governor Mark Gordon announced today he has launched an initiative to address terrestrial invasive plants in the state. The initiative will be comprised of two teams -- a Policy Team and a Technical Team, each comprised of local, state and federal government representatives, private citizens representing industry and agricultural groups, as well as scientists and practitioners. The two teams will work cooperatively to develop recommendations for the Governor in the context of a large-scale strategy for invasive species management. Terrestrial invasive species represent a significant threat to Wyoming’s forests, rangelands and agricultural lands with varying levels of impact.
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets.
Many people in Vermont are encountering gypsy moths (GM) for the first time. This invasive species arrived in the United States over 100 years ago and has been expanding its range ever since. They can be significant defoliators (leaf eaters) of trees and shrubs. They prefer oak trees, but when there are a lot of caterpillars around they will eat any type of leaf, including maple and pine. Vermont has not seen an outbreak of GM since 1991. At that time a fungus called Entomophaga maimaiga became prevalent in the area and significantly decreased the GM population. But the dry weather that we’ve experienced over the last few years has not been good for fungi, and the absence of fungi has allowed the GM numbers to increase.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is notifying the public that a new invasive grass species, Cogongrass, has been confirmed in Arkansas for the first time. For several years botanists and land managers have been on the lookout for Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern Arkansas. This aggressive species, native to Southeast Asia, has spread rapidly across the Deep South over the past few decades. Cogongrass is considered one of the worst invasive species in the world, causing both economic and ecological damages that impact forestry, agriculture, rangeland, and natural ecosystems.
Any sightings of Cogongrass in Arkansas should be reported to Paul Shell, the Department's Plant Inspection and Quarantine Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-225-1598.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Multiple federal, state and local agencies have been notified of an invasive algae species discovered in Newport Bay, California. The algae, which is native to Florida and other subtropical and tropical locales, is scientifically known as Caulerpa prolifera. It can grow quickly, choking out native seaweeds and potentially harming marine life through lost habitat.
A similar species of invasive algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, was identified in California in 2000 and was successfully eradicated through a comprehensive joint local, state and federal effort in 2006. Due to the similarity between these two species, scientists believe this algae species may pose a serious threat to our local coastal ecosystems.
However, it is imperative that the public avoid contact with the plant due to its extreme ease of recolonizing from just tiny fragments. If you believe you have seen this invasive algae, please complete a Suspect Invasive Species Sighting Report: Invasive Algae - Caulerpa prolifera. Please do not collect a specimen, as this may lead to further spread.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) received a report in late June that an invasive silver carp had been spotted in Choctaw Creek, a Texas tributary of the Red River approximately 15 miles downstream from Lake Texoma. "These are the first reports of silver carp from Texas waters, although they have previously been found in other areas of the Red River including just downstream from Lake Texoma in Oklahoma waters in 2019," said Dan Bennett, TPWD fisheries management biologist. "Invasive carp pose a significant risk to Lake Texoma’s ecosystem and boaters and there is adequate flow and upstream river area for them to become established and reproduce in the lake if introduced."
Anyone who catches either silver or bighead carp in Texas waters is asked to report the sighting with location information and photos to AquaticInvasives@tpwd.texas.gov. Silver and bighead carp are prohibited exotic species in Texas and must be killed upon possession by beheading, gutting, gill-cutting or other means or placed on ice. Neither species can be possessed live.
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
On August 27, an angler caught a northern snakehead from Reservoir Pond in Canton, Massachusetts. After obtaining and analyzing the specimen, MassWildlife confirmed this fish was a snakehead, an invasive species in Massachusetts. This fish was most likely released by a pet owner when it grew too large for its aquarium. Possession and liberation of snakeheads are both illegal in Massachusetts. Transferring exotic fish into local waterways can cause a host of problems, including competition with native species and spread of disease. This recent catch is the fifth confirmed snakehead documented in Massachusetts since 2002. All snakeheads found in Massachusetts were adults, and MassWildlife has found no evidence of reproduction at any of the locations where the snakeheads were caught.
Anglers may confuse snakeheads with other native species like bowfin. Anyone who captures a fish that can be confidently identified as a snakehead should keep the fish, kill it, and report it to MassWildlife by emailing email@example.com or calling (508) 389-6300. MassWildlife encourages anglers who are less certain about the species of fish they have caught to send photos showing various angles of the fish. Under no circumstance should a suspected snakehead be transported to another location until identification is confirmed.