Invasive Species Control

Milfoil

Milfoil is not native to our state and is very difficult to control once it becomes fully established. Milfoil reproduces through fragmentation whereby plant fragments break off from the parent plant through wind or boat action, grow roots, and settle in a new location. Milfoil spreads rapidly and displaces beneficial native plant life. It makes swimming difficult and can devalue waterfront property. Where this species grows in its native environment, insects and fish may feed on this plant at such a rate as to control its growth. Milfoil has no natural predators to keep its population in check. Under optimum temperature, light and nutrient conditions, milfoil may grow up to an inch per day.

How Did Exotic Milfoil Become Established in This State? It was most likely a “stowaway” fragment attached to a boat or trailer that came to this region. Milfoil can live out of water for many hours if it remains moist. Brittle Naiad Leaves are opposite (in pairs along the stem), but sometimes appear to be in a whorl at the tip. Leaves are 1-2 inches long, toothed, stiff and pointed. Plant is very brittle and easily breaks into pieces. Brittle Naiad is most abundant in the Hudson Valley and Central New York. It has also found its way into some Adirondack waters.

Nutrient Pollution

https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution

Nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water. Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems.]] Nitrogen is also the most abundant element in the air we breathe. Nitrogen and phosphorus support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish, shellfish and smaller organisms that live in water. But when too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the environment – usually from a wide range of human activities – the air and water can become polluted. Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues, and impacting the economy. To much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Large growths of algae are called algal blooms and they can severely reduce or eliminate oxygen in the water, leading to illnesses in fish and the death of large numbers of fish. Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink

Geese Control

Here’s some information regarding Canadian geese and things that we can do to help control the population. The geese lay eggs in April and early May. If you find eggs on your property, please note the steps you may take to prevent them from hatching. There is a requirement to register for geese control.

Geese produce one pound of droppings per day (YIKES!) and live more than 20 years and mate for life. They begin breeding at 2-3 years old & produce more than 50 young in a lifetime. They return to nesting area in March and lay eggs through April, early May, then undergo a 4-5 week flightless period to shed and regrow feathers in mid June/July.

PLEASE DISCOURAGE GEESE! – do not feed – let grass grow 10-14 inches at shoreline – plant ivy, pachysandra or juniper at shoreline – install fencing during molting period (June and July) – hang mylar tape or pinwheels – puncture, share or apply 100% corn oil to eggs (register for a permit at link above) – hunt in September if licenses for water fowl permit

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria & Lythrum virgatum)

Purple loosestrife is native to Europe and Asia where insects and diseases native to that area have kept it in check. It was introduced to North America as a garden plant but has since spread to wild areas and depleted natural habitat for native plants and animals. Purple loosestrife can be found in a wide variety of sites from moist soil to shallow water and specifically near or in marshes, wetlands, streams, rivers, or lakes. Disturbed sites, along highways for example, also create an opening for germination of seeds and expansion of new colonies. Loosestrife can overtake a natural habitat and literally choke out the native vegetation, including rare or endangered plants. In addition, the wildlife that depend on the native vegetation for food or shelter are forced out of the area because loosestrife provides little food or habitat for native wildlife species.

Management and Control: Purple loosestrife can be controlled using mechanical, chemical, and biological means.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html

The potential threat of emerald ash borer (EAB) is real; however, acting without understanding the specific threat to your trees, regulations and quarantines, and your options, could cause the unnecessary loss of treasured shade trees, or loss of substantial income from your woodlot. This Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash species (Fraxinussp.) including green, white, black and blue ash. Thus, all native ash trees are susceptible. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July. Signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves. Most trees die within 2 to 4 years of becoming infested. The emerald ash borer is responsible for the destruction of over 50 million ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in Michigan.

If you think you have EAB, call the Department’s EAB and Firewood hotline at 1-866-640-0652.

Hemlock Woolly Adegid

The HWA is an invasive, aphid-like insect that attacks North American hemlocks. HWA are very small (1.5mm) and often hard to see, but they can be easily identified by the white woolly masses they form on the underside of branches at the base of the needles.

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