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Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop June 22, 2011 San Rafael, California Ronald Smith United States Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Invasive Species Program.

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Presentation on theme: "Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop June 22, 2011 San Rafael, California Ronald Smith United States Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Invasive Species Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop June 22, 2011 San Rafael, California Ronald Smith United States Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Invasive Species Program Pacific Southwest Region Troubled Waters: Biological Invasion of Our Aquatic Resources

2 Outline of the Presentation Problem Problem Pathways Pathways Examples of some invasive flora and fauna Examples of some invasive flora and fauna New invaders of concern New invaders of concern What you can do What you can do

3 Problem with Non-native Invasive Species Economic cost to U.S. Economic cost to U.S. Damage to infrastructure Damage to infrastructure Loss of resources Loss of resources 2nd leading cause of native species’ extinction/endangerment 2nd leading cause of native species’ extinction/endangerment Loss of global biodiversity Loss of global biodiversity Human health risk Human health risk Asian lung fluke Asian lung fluke West Nile virus West Nile virus

4 Pathways of Introduction How they get here… Aquaria Aquaria Aquaculture Aquaculture Ballast water Ballast water Intentional introduction Intentional introduction Live bait Live bait Live seafood Live seafood Aquascaping Aquascaping

5 Pathways of Introduction How they are spread once there are here… Stowaways Stowaways Boats and equipment Boats and equipment Shipping crates Shipping crates Recreational activities Recreational activities Infrastructure maintenance Infrastructure maintenance Field crews Field crews

6 Examples of Invasive Aquatic Plants in California Water Hyacinth Water Hyacinth Hydrilla Hydrilla Eurasian Watermilfoil Eurasian Watermilfoil Giant Salvinia Giant Salvinia Brazilian Elodea Brazilian Elodea Curly Leaf Pondweed Curly Leaf Pondweed South American Sponge Plant South American Sponge Plant

7 Characteristics of Invasive Aquatic Plants Form dense mats can clog entire lakes & waterways Form dense mats can clog entire lakes & waterways Interferes with commercial and recreational water navigation Interferes with commercial and recreational water navigation Displace and reduce the diversity of native aquatic plants Displace and reduce the diversity of native aquatic plants Supports a lower abundance and diversity of invertebrates Supports a lower abundance and diversity of invertebrates Less valuable food source for waterfowl Less valuable food source for waterfowl Clogs water diversions and pumps Clogs water diversions and pumps Depletes dissolved oxygen levels Depletes dissolved oxygen levels Increased sedimentation Increased sedimentation Causes flooding Causes flooding

8 Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) Grows in all types of freshwater habitats Grows in all types of freshwater habitats Vary in size from a few inches to over three feet tall Vary in size from a few inches to over three feet tall Showy lavender flowers Showy lavender flowers Leaves are rounded and leathery, attached to spongy inflated stalks Leaves are rounded and leathery, attached to spongy inflated stalks Dark feathery roots with end caps Dark feathery roots with end caps

9 Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) Submersed plant, can grow to the surface and form dense mats Submersed plant, can grow to the surface and form dense mats Stems are slender, branched and up to 25 feet long Stems are slender, branched and up to 25 feet long Leaves are strap-like and pointed, grow in whorls of four to eight around the stem Leaves are strap-like and pointed, grow in whorls of four to eight around the stem Leaf margins are distinctly saw-toothed Leaf margins are distinctly saw-toothed Tiny white flowers on long stalks Tiny white flowers on long stalks Potato-like tubers attached to the roots in the mud Potato-like tubers attached to the roots in the mud

10 Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) Tolerates a wide range of water conditions and often forms large infestations Tolerates a wide range of water conditions and often forms large infestations  Stems are reddish-brown to whitish-pink; branched and commonly grow to lengths of six to nine feet  Leaves are deeply divided, soft and feather-like, about two inches long, and arranged in whorls of three to six leaves about the stem  Flowers are reddish and very small, held above the water on an immersed flower spike that is several inches long

11 Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) Looks like free floating fern; stems rootless, hairy, about 10 cm long Looks like free floating fern; stems rootless, hairy, about 10 cm long Leaves in threes, looks like two, rounded to somewhat broadly elliptical 2 cm long, upper surface with 4-pronged hairs joined at the tips (resembling an egg beater), lower surface hairy Leaves in threes, looks like two, rounded to somewhat broadly elliptical 2 cm long, upper surface with 4-pronged hairs joined at the tips (resembling an egg beater), lower surface hairy

12 Brazilian Waterweed (Egeria densa) Submersed plant is rooted, occurs in streams, ponds, springs, and lakes Submersed plant is rooted, occurs in streams, ponds, springs, and lakes Stems are usually a foot or two long, but can be much longer Stems are usually a foot or two long, but can be much longer Leaves are strap-shaped, about one inch long, 1/4 inch wide and occur in whorls of three to six around the stem Leaves are strap-shaped, about one inch long, 1/4 inch wide and occur in whorls of three to six around the stem Leaf margins have very fine saw teeth Leaf margins have very fine saw teeth Flowers are on short stalks about one inch above the water; have three white petals and are about 3/4 inch across Flowers are on short stalks about one inch above the water; have three white petals and are about 3/4 inch across

13 Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) Stem is flat, reddish-brown and grows from 1 to 3 feet long Stem is flat, reddish-brown and grows from 1 to 3 feet long Leaves are reddish-green, oblong and about 3 inches long Leaves are reddish-green, oblong and about 3 inches long Distinct wavy edges that are finely toothed Distinct wavy edges that are finely toothed Flowers are reddish-white and emergent from a short stem Flowers are reddish-white and emergent from a short stem

14 New Invader: South American Spongeplant  Many seeds & small seedlings move easily.  Spongeplant mixed with duckweed. Red circles show spongeplant seedlings.  Seeds survive at least three years.  First California infestation in Redding and Arcata  Outcompetes several other aggressive water weeds, like water primrose and parrots feather.

15 Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

16 Examples of Invasive Fauna Species Asian Clam Asian Clam Chinese Mitten Crab Chinese Mitten Crab New Zealand Mudsnail New Zealand Mudsnail Florida Watersnake (Nerodia) Florida Watersnake (Nerodia) Northern Snakehead Northern Snakehead

17 Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea) Introduced in 1800’s for human consumption Introduced in 1800’s for human consumption High densities, out-competes native clams High densities, out-competes native clams Impairs water delivery systems by clogging pipes, valves and sprinklers Impairs water delivery systems by clogging pipes, valves and sprinklers Traps sediment, forms bars in agriculture canals, alters flow Traps sediment, forms bars in agriculture canals, alters flow Possible cause for pelagic fish decline in the delta Possible cause for pelagic fish decline in the delta Bioaccumulation of toxins Bioaccumulation of toxins Control: Control: mechanical removal chemicals

18 Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) Intentional releases for human consumption and/or via ballast water Intentional releases for human consumption and/or via ballast water Clogs fish salvage facilities Clogs fish salvage facilities Creates losses for fisheries Creates losses for fisheries Threatens levee stability Threatens levee stability Potential host for human lung fluke Potential host for human lung fluke Population cyclic, low at present Population cyclic, low at present

19 New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) From New Zealand From New Zealand 750,000 NZMS per square meter 750,000 NZMS per square meter Competes for space and food Competes for space and food Ties up nutrients – not digestible by most fish or birds, shell takes a long time to decompose Ties up nutrients – not digestible by most fish or birds, shell takes a long time to decompose Shells block pipes, filters and grates Shells block pipes, filters and grates Development of biocontrols underway Development of biocontrols underway Ken Davis Distribution of the New Zealand mudsnail in California.

20 Southern Watersnake (Nerodia fasciata) Native to southeastern US Native to southeastern US Threat to CA native and federally listed giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) Threat to CA native and federally listed giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) Eradication efforts in SoCal Eradication efforts in SoCal

21 Northern Snakehead (Channa argus) Native to China, and possibly Korea and Russia Native to China, and possibly Korea and Russia First discovered in MD in 2002 First discovered in MD in 2002 Introduced as food source and through aquarium trade Introduced as food source and through aquarium trade Voracious predator – decimate native fish populations Voracious predator – decimate native fish populations Primitive lung – can breath air and move short distances over land Primitive lung – can breath air and move short distances over land Some successful eradication efforts Some successful eradication efforts

22 New Invaders to California Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis) Quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis)

23 Zebra and Quagga Mussel

24 What can you do…  Become aware of AIS and plan your activities accordingly  Develop and implement actions to prevent AIS introductions  Report all suspected sightings of AIS to STOP-ANS  Take an active role and spread the word about AIS…

25 Give us a call… (209) Ronald Smith – AIS Program Coordinator Ronald Smith – AIS Program Coordinator Jon Thompson – ISRAP/HACCP Coordinator Jon Thompson – ISRAP/HACCP Coordinator Louanne McMartin – Watershed Coordinator Louanne McMartin – Watershed Coordinator

26 Questions


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