Monday, May 4, 2009

AGFC Posts Didymo Warnings at Launch Ramps

Some of you may have already seen a new AGFC notice at ramps warning about Didymo (popular name... rock snot) with instructions how to clean boats and equipment. This caution has been recommended as a first step approach to reducing transmission to other water bodies.

If you're not familiar with this invasive alga found in our rivers, here's a web site in New Zealand where they've had lots of experience.

Latest from Jeff Williams, Trout Biologist, AGFC Mountain Home in response to an email thanking him and AGFC for taking this responsible action.

Thanks Gene. Yes, we are hoping to generate awareness and encourage folks to clean their equipment before moving between waters. Although most of our trout waters already have Didymo, we hope these efforts will help prevent the spread to waters not currently affected. I also have some smaller posters that we are going to distribute to local bait/fly shops, outfitters, etc.

As far as treatments to eliminate Didymo from the river, there is still no viable option. I was at a meeting last week of trout managers in the southeast and Didymo was a topic of discussion. One of the biologists from Virginia gave a presentation on a method to semi-quantify Didymo coverage that I think we will try to adopt here in AR. This will basically allow us to monitor coverage over time and might allow us to examine relationships between Didymo and certain water quality parameters as well as the trout populations.

The high flows definitely knocked the Didymo back some, but it's not gone for good. Please let me know if you have any additional questions/comments. take care.