Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Northeast Region

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Northeast Accomplishment Highlights FY 2012

Comparison photos from 2011-2012. Credit: USFWS
comparison photos from 2011-2012

Water Chestnut Control in New York State Canal System

FWS Cost - $25,881

The Lower Great Lakes FWCO continued control efforts for waterchestnut in Tonawanda Creek. In 2012, a drastic decline of waterchestnut was observed, resulting in the cancellation of mechanical harvesting. Plants were so sparse that weekly hand pulling was sufficient to remove visible plants. Distribution of waterchestnut WATCH cards continued.

Ruffe Early Detection

FWS Cost - $35,742

The Lower Great Lakes FWCO conducted bottom trawling for ruffe at multiple sites on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. No ruffe were detected.

Aquatic Invasive Species Risk Assessment Program

Sample RAMP output. Credit: USFWS
Sample RAMP output

FWS Cost - $98,686

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the Lower Great Lakes FWCO continued work on assigned risk assessments. Staff developed and tested the "RAMP" (Risk Assessment Mapping Program) which compares non-native species and their climates found throughout the world with potential matching climates here in North America. It also incorporates future climate scenarios. RAMP training was provided to Regions 3, 4, and the Washington Office.

Northern Snakehead Population Management in the Potomac River

Northern snakehead Credit: USFWS
Northern snakehead

FWS Cost - $88,000

Since 2009, the Maryland FRO has surveyed the northern snakehead population on the Potomac River and conducted lab trials to learn more about life history requirements. Over 2,400 snakeheads were tagged and released by federal and state agencies and 261 tagged fish have been recaptured by agencies and recreational anglers. Information gained from tagging has helped biologists determine growth and movement patterns. Snakeheads with radio tags were tracked in a Potomac tributary for 2 years with passive receivers and manually tracked for over 300 hours. Seasonal and daily movement patterns were observed which should increase capture efficiency. In 2012 capture rates were significantly higher than the 3 previous years. 600 snakeheads were kept for stomach and age analysis. Several snakeheads have been caught in other Chesapeake Bay tributaries after record high flows in 2010 and 2011. They appear to have escaped out of the Potomac River and may colonize more of the Chesapeake Bay. MFRO is working with state agencies to determine the appropriate response.

Great Lakes Early Detection

Technicians rinse down benthic sled. Credit: USFWS
Technicians rinse down benthic sled

FWS Cost - $248,278

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the Lower Great Lakes FWCO completed comprehensive surveys for aquatic invasive fish and invertebrates. Using trawls, electrofishing, a benthic sled, and gill nets, sites in the Lake Huron-Lake Erie and Lake Erie-Lake Ontario corridors were sampled in spring, summer, and fall. This is in partnership with Region 3 Fisheries offices.

Asian Carp Detection

FWS cost - $113,359

The Lower Great Lakes FWCO conducted early detection surveys in Sandusky and Toledo, OH. This included traditional gear sampling support (gill nets, electrofishing) to the states of Ohio and Michigan as well as Region 3 following positive eDNA findings in western Lake Erie waters. No Asian carp were detected.

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point Training

FWS Cost - $25,359

Provided HACCP training in conjunction with the fall, 2012 Northeast ANS Panel meeting in Providence, RI. Continued to coordinate HACCP planning within Region 5, Fisheries program. Provided technical input and review of a HACCP plan developed following Tropical Storm Irene and potential movement of lake trout from White River NFH to Great Lakes.

New York State Canal Prevention Program

FWS Cost - $40,359

The Lower Great Lakes FWCO completed surveys for invasive fish in May and September at five sites along the New York State Canal System (NYSCS) within the Erie, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Staff identified hydrilla in the western end of the NYSCS in September and led the initial multi-agency delineation team to determine the extent of the infestation. Delineation is an ongoing effort that includes partners from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks, New York State Canal Corporation, and Army Corps of Engineers.

Partnering with Virginia to Combat the Introduction and Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

FWS Cost - $5,000

The VA Fisheries Coordinator Office (VFC) was involved with successful on-the-ground efforts to combat AIS, nurturing relationships with diverse and citizen-driven groups committed to controlling invasive species and restoring shorelines in their neighborhoods. VFC provided technical assistance to the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership and the Bureau of Environmental Services for the City of Norfolk, VA and was instrumental in catapulting projects in the Elizabeth River watershed from the planning phase to implementation.

Native plant restoration efforts following Phragmites removal. Credit: LWP
Native plant restoration efforts following Phragmites removal

Fiscal Year 2011 Highlights
Fiscal Year 2010 Highlights (pdf - 56.76MB)
Aspects of AIS work (pdf - 4.9MB)

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Last updated: September 10, 2015
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