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Invasive Species Recently Found In VT Lakes

Hello LSC,

We'd like to let you know that invasive species have been recently discovered in two nearby Vermont lakes - zebra mussels in Lake Memphremagog and spiny water flea in Lake Champlain.

On zebra mussels: Zebra mussels are an invasive species; they are a small freshwater mollusk that attaches to firm surfaces and can clog pipes and other underwater infrastructure. They are also filter-feeders, consuming microscopic aquatic life that is the base of the food web for our lakes. Their feeding habits can impact the native species that also consume those food sources.

On the spiny water flea: Dr. Tim Mihuc, Director of the Lake Champlain Research Institute, states, “This is truly a sad day for Lake Champlain. The spiny water flea has potential to severely impact the planktonic food web and will be a huge nuisance to anglers. Unfortunately, now Lake Champlain has joined Sacandaga Lake and Lake George as a major hub for future invasions into the Adirondacks and Vermont waters.”

You can read more about these unfortunate discoveries in these press releases:

Zebra Mussels Identified in Magog Bay, Lake Memphremagog

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake Champlain

It is illegal in the state of Vermont to transport aquatic invasive species. Act 67, which came into effect in 2017, states that if a certified attendant at a watercraft decontamination station identifies a vessel or trailer as requiring decontamination, boaters are obligated to comply. Failure to do so can result in fines and the involvement of law enforcement.

Each season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the LSCA works with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to staff the LSC boat launch with well-trained inspectors called Greeters. They are paid personnel of the LSCA. These Greeters inspect incoming and outgoing watercraft looking for invasive species of plant and animal life. Through their efforts, we can closely monitor and prevent other invasive species like Asian Clams, Spiny Water Fleas, Water Chestnuts and Zebra Mussels carried on visiting boats, from invading Lake St. Catherine.

We want to make sure these invasive species do nto make it into Lake St. Catherine. It is so important to inspect your boat and trailer for invasive species before launching your boat into the lake.

You can learn more about aquatic invasive species on the Vermont DEC website's Aquatic Invasive Species page.

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