DNR on the look­out for aquatic in­va­sive species

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS -

Ear­lier this month, Deep Creek Lake Launch Stew­ards in­ter­cepted three boats car­ry­ing aquatic in­va­sive species that were seek­ing to launch into the lake. While con­duct­ing ves­sel in­spec­tions, stew­ards no­ticed ze­bra mus­sels on two boats and hy­drilla on a third.

The stew­ards in­formed the own­ers, who co­op­er­a­tively agreed to prop­erly clean and de­con­tam­i­nate their boats at lo­cal mari­nas, and be in­spected again, be­fore launch­ing into the lake.

Two of the boats ar­rived at the lake July 2. The first boat had re­cently been on Cheat Lake in West Vir­ginia and had an in­va­sive plant Hy­drilla ver­ti­cil­lata at­tached to the boat mo­tor. The sec­ond ves­sel, a pon­toon boat, had re­cently been on the Ohio River in Ohio and had in­va­sive shell­fish, ze­bra mus­sels — Dreis­sena poly­mor­pha — at­tached to the hull and mo­tor. A third boat, also with at­tached ze­bra mus­sels, ar­rived at the Deep Creek Lake State Park boat ramp July 5 hav­ing pre­vi­ously been on Geist Reser­voir in In­di­ana.

The Launch Stew­ard Pro­gram is a co­op­er­a­tive ef­fort be­tween Gar­rett Col­lege’s Nat­u­ral Re­source and Wildlife Tech­nol­ogy pro­gram and the Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources. Stew­ards con­duct vol­un­tary boat in­spec­tions and ed­u­cate the pub­lic about aquatic in­va­sive species and are the best line of defense against thwart­ing fu­ture in­tro­duc­tions of aquatic in­va­sive species into Deep Creek Lake.

These re­cent in­ter­cep­tions high­light the im­por­tance of ed­u­cat­ing vis­i­tors and lo­cal res­i­dents alike about aquatic in­va­sive species and the need to thor­oughly clean, drain, and dry their boats and gear be­fore launch­ing onto Deep Creek Lake.

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