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Clean Angling News
March 2011

Teaching Kids About Invasives

  Youth education is a primary program of the Invasive Species Action Network (the organization producing this newsletter) and we are excited to announce the availability of a new youth education activity. "Invader Inspector" is a hands-on activity that teaches students about the invasive species problem and the importance of inspecting and cleaning. Students are taught how to inspect boats, boots or other outdoor gear and then actually become hands-on inspectors looking for invasive species.

    The activity is designed for maximum flexibility and can be used in a classroom or as part of an outdoor field day. It is a perfect activity for resource professionals or volunteer anglers to conduct as it is easy to implement and does not require special knowledge. ISAN is making the activity available to anyone who is interested in teaching about invasives. It is available as a free download or in a tackle box kit which contains everything needed to conduct the activity (except a boat!). Additionally, ISAN staff are available to provide training in implementing the activity or to conduct the activity at your event.   Learn More about "Invader Inspector"

    Sea Grant programs and k-12 teachers in Oregon, Washington and California have collaborated to create and share resources for teaching students and the larger public about invasive species and how to prevent or stop their spread. The Aquatic Invasive Species Toolkit is a comprehensive set of fun, challenging, inspiring lessons and activities designed to help kids understand what invasive species are, how they affect the environment, and what we can all do about them.   Read More

    Artist Mark Heckman and writer Mark Newman joined forces to tell the story of environmental superhero Billy Cooper, who does everything in his power to safeguard the Great Lakes from invasive species. The book, Sooper Yooper is designed to educate and entertain kids about the importance of protecting our natural resources. Their message is simple: when it comes to the environment, everyone can be a superhero!    Read More

   LSI: Life Science Investigation- Attack of the Alien Invaders is a new multi-media classroom resource which utilizes the recent news story of the “Asian carp” threat to the Great Lakes as a way to hook students into a better understanding of the life science benchmarks and indicators contained within Ohio’s middle grade science standards. This is an excellent support tool for anyone teaching about Asian carp. Read More

Carp in the News

    The biggest carp story of the month is the tale of the commercial trucker who was fined $50,000 for trying to transport 4,000 pounds of live Asian carp into Canada. The driver, Feng Yang, violated the federal Fisheries Act when he tried to bring live bighead and grass carp into the country on Nov. 4. Unfortunately, this was not his first conviction for the offense. In 2006, he was fined $40,000 for possessing the same invasive species.  Read More

    Yang is what's known as a live-hauler, a trucker who drives a semi outfitted with fish tanks. His truck on the day in question had 11 tanks. The fish Yang was transporting were likely headed for Asian markets in the Toronto area. There, they are a popular ethnic delicacy.

    "It's my understanding that some ethnic markets prefer their fish to be bought live," said Kevin Reid, a biologist with the Ontario Commercial Fisheries' Association. Often, they are purchased in twos as part of a ritual. "It's a tradition. You buy one, kill it and set the other one free."

    Detroit Free Press reporter Brian Dickerson has investigated this tradition to see if it is cause for concern. In an article titled Does Chinese Ritual Doom War On Asian Carp? he recounts the results of his investigation. Read More

    This live carp transport story along with similar accounts has led to increasing calls to end all live transport of Asian carp. However, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, D-Ark, says that such laws would be unfair to fish farmers and could lead to even greater environmental impacts.  Read More 

First Felt Bans Implemented

   On March 22, Maryland implemented the first felt ban in the nation. Although Alaska and Vermont approved bans before Maryland, Maryland is the first to actually ban felt. Officials in the state carried out an aggressive outreach campaign to try and alert anglers about the change. However, many fishermen will be caught by surprise by the new regulation. Recognizing that there needs to be flexibility to allow the public an opportunity to adjust, the State has announced that for now only educational citations will be given to violators.  Read More

   Vermont is not far behind as their felt ban kicks in on April 1st. There was a legislative effort to delay the implementation for a year to allow for more outreach, the bill failed to move out of committee and the ban is scheduled to go into effect as planned.Read More

  In other felt news, bills proposing bans in Oregon and Montana are now dead. An Idaho Resolution recognizing the threat of transport and congratulating manufacturers who voluntarily eliminate felt is moving though the legislative process and appears likely to pass. There is still a bill in Maine that directs the Department to study the need for a ban that may be alive. Complete information about all felt bans is at   Status of Felt Restrictions in the USA

   Finally, on the Field & Stream blog, Kirk Deeter provides a New Product Review: Svelte - An Alternative to Felt on Wading Boots   Read More

Lake Tahoe Native Fish Population Declines Sharply, Invasives on the Rise

   In a lakewide study, a team of scientists lead by University of Nevada, Reno limnologist Sudeep Chandra has found a considerable decline in native fish species density at Lake Tahoe since 1951. In their final report, they are recommending establishing and implementing a management plan to protect the nearshore zone habitat, which is critical to native fish.

   "The numbers are alarming, and likely caused by multiple stressors in the nearshore zone," Chandra an assistant professor in the University's Department of Natural Resources and Environment said. "The good news is that the composition is there. The bad news is the decline in number, the decline in native species and the proliferation of non-native fish species."  Read More

Mussel Infested Boats Found in the West

   Two different boats with mussels attached were intercepted in March, one in Montana and the other in Utah. These cases show that the coordination developing between the states, federal agencies and private companies is beginning to gel into an effective network to help protect our waters.

   The Montana incident occurred in early March when a sailboat which hadbeen moored on Lake Mead was transported to Flathead Lake. As per policy, the boat was inspected and disinfected before it left the marina at Mead. The boat transport information was then transmitted to Western states so that they would know that a potentially infected boat would be traveling into their jurisdiction. Upon its arrival in the Flathead area, the boat was inspected and a single small mussel was found attached to the hull.Read More

   On March 24th, a vessel infested with live adult quagga mussels was prevented from launching on Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The mussels were discovered by an employee at Antelope Point Marina during a routine inspection. Park staff decontaminated the vessel and placed it in quarantine for 30 days to ensure that all associated mussels will die before it is launched.   Read More

State by State

  Idaho - A first of a kind boat decontamination station is now open on the Idaho/Nevada border. This unique facility appears to have real promise.  Read More

   Wisconsin - Wisconsin boaters and anglers changed their behaviors to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in 2010 according to a recent survey conducted by researchers at UW-Madison.. Read More

  Connecticut - The Department of Environmental Protection announces that Didymo was discovered in the West Branch Farmington River in northwestern Connecticut. Read More 

  California - Mussel Dogs, a fledgling venture to train dogs to sniff out invasive aquatic species, was awarded second place in a recent competition for new businesses.   Read More

  Oregon - A bill has been introduced that would eliminate the invasive species permit for all small human powered boats.  Read More

  Colorado - Officials announce that the 2011 boat inspection program is now being implemented throughout the state.  Read More

  Illinois - A shipment of tropical fish commonly found in pet shops was recently confiscated at O’Hare Airport for breaking the City of Chicago’s invasive species ordinance.    Read More

  Minnesota - Gov. Mark Dayton has unveiled legislation to slow the spread of aquatic species in Minnesota lakes and rivers.  Watch Video News Report

2 Articles in one issue

  Fisheries magazine, published by the American Fisheries Society, has two new articles about invasive species. "The State of Crayfish in the Pacific Northwest" summarizes the knowledge about crayfish in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada, emphasizing distributions and conservation status of native species, as well as known introductions and distributions of alien crayfishes. 

   "The Aquarium Trade as an Invasion pathway in the pacific Northwest" reports on the first investigation of the ornamental pet trade as an invasion pathway in the Pacific Northwest. In the abstract the authors report "In conclusion, the aquarium trade may be a significant source of past and future invasions in the Pacific Northwest, and we recommend enhanced public education programs, greater regulation of the aquarium industry, and improved legislation of nonnative species in the ornamental trade."  Read The Full Issue

Species triage - a viable way to manage California's water problems?

   "Eighty percent of the state's 129 native fish species are extinct or imperiled," according to a new study from the Public Policy Institute of California. How to fix that? The answer might surprise you - the study's authors propose allowing invasive species to go extinct in order to facilitate a balancing act between preserving a high quality water supply with a habitable ecosystem for other, less invasive, species of fish. Should we let some species die off to save others? Biologists confront the prospect of triaging the fate of the earth's creatures in this interesting audio download.Listen here


  A selection of stories not directly related to aquatic invasives.

    What Is Your Water Footprint? Find out by using this water footprint calculator from National Geographic. Read More

    An invasive species of moth that eats prickly pear cactus is moving across the Gulf Coast toward Texas raising fears for cactus farmers.  Read More

     Up to 45 rare species of wallaby, bandicoot and other Australian animals could become extinct within 20 years unless urgent action is taken to control introduced predators and other threats.  Learn More

      In Washington, D.C., Patterson Clark is skirmishing with invasive species in quite a different way: He is transforming them into art.  Read More 

     Kudzu Vines Spreading North from US Southeast With Warming Climate.  Read More

     Treadmill Tests for Poison Frogs Show Toxic Species Are More Physically Fit  Read More

March News 

   We have changed our name!  Effective March 29th The Center for Aquatic Nuisance Species has been renamed the Invasive Species Action Network. This new name better reflects the work we do. Which is focused on developing collaborative efforts that work to prevent the spread of all invasive species.

   We will continue to do most of our work through branded programs like the Clean Angling Coalition and the Riparian Weed Project and the name change will have no impact at all on how we conduct business.

   Although we are now using the new name it will take some time for us to change everywhere the old name is being used but we are working on it. None of our web addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses or email addresses will change.

  As fishing and boating season rapidly arrive, we find that many Western states are cranking up their boat inspection programs. Colorado and Idaho have begun their summer programs and the other states will be right behind. These boat inspections are the cornerstone of the prevention effort so be sure to thank the workers whenever you are inspected this summer.. 

  There is lots of additional news that we have included this month. I hope we are providing stories that interest you. Email us at newsletter@stopans.org and let us know what you would like to see in future issues of the News.

Bob Wiltshire
Executive Director ISAN

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The Clean Angling News is regularly produced by the Invasive Species Action Network. If you have questions, suggestions or would like to learn more about invasive species please contact us:
Invasive Species Action Network
215 East Lewis, #201
Livingston, MT  59047