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Eddies sumfall2010

  1. 1. EddiesReflections on Fisheries ConservationU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Summer/Fall 2010
  2. 2. 2  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010EddiesThe mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceis working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish,wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefitof the American people.CONSERVINGCONSERVINGU.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceU.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceDepartmentsFeaturesHeadwaters 3Watermarks 4Pioneers 8American Fishes 10Meanders 30Vol. 3, No. 2Publisher Bryan Arroyo, Assistant Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fisheries and Habitat ConservationExecutive Editor Stuart Leon, Ph.D.Deputy Editor Richard ChristianEditor Craig SpringerAssociate Editor Lauren MerriamContributing writers Jeffry Anderson David Britton, Ph.D. John Bryan Ricky Campbell Jason Goldberg Susan Jewell Thomas McCoyEditorial Advisors Mark Brouder, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ryck Lydecker, Boat Owners Association of the United States Mark Maskill, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hal Schramm, Ph.D., U.S. Geological Survey Michael Smith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (retired) Denise Wagner, U.S. Fish and Wildflife ServiceAssistant Regional Directors – Fisheries Julie Collins (Acting), Pacific Region Robert Clarke (Acting), Pacific Southwest Region Jaime Geiger, Ph.D., Northeast Region Linda Kelsey, Southeast Region Mike Oetker, Southwest Region Steve Klosiewski (Acting), Alaska Region Sharon Rose (Acting), Mountain–Prairie Region Mike Weimer, Midwest RegionContact For subscriptions, visit www.fws.gov/eddies, email craig_springer@fws.gov call 505 248-6867, or write to: Craig Springer USFWS Fisheries RM 9100D 500 Gold Ave. SW Albuquerque, NM 87103DesignBlue Heron CommunicationsOn the Cover:Giant salvinia, an invasiveaquatic plant, has takenhold in lakes andbayous in the South. Seepage 16. USDA photoEddiesReflections on Fisheries ConservationU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Summer/Fall 2010 Ken Peters Bob Pitman Randi Sue Smith Joe Starinchak Aaron Woldt Bradley A. Young. Ph.D.Giant Salvinia–16Bob PitmanKenai’s MostUnwanted–20Jeffry Anderson“Rock Snot” PosesProblems for FisheriesConservation–22John BryanInvasive Species in ourWaters–12Susan JewellConservation in aQuagga-mire–26David Britton, Ph.D.Pythons have invaded the Florida Everglades. Read aboutone man’s snake experience, returning home to Florida inthis issue’s Meanders, page 30.NationalParkService
  3. 3. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationAquatic invasive species are a clear and present dangerto the aquatic biota of our country. It’s by boats, boots,and ballast that aquatic invasive species make theirway into our waters. Once established, they can spreadaggressively and break links in the food chain.Whether the invasive organisms are plants, bugs,microorganisms, fish, snakes, snails, crabs, mussels,or algae—and the examples are many—the outcome isquite often a short-circuit in an ecosystem’s “wiring.”Invasive species can change water quality, and theycan be the vectors for novel diseases moving intonew waters. Invasive fish species can replace oreliminate native fishes entirely, and this is particularlydisconcerting when those native species are listed asthreatened or endangered.Then there are the costs. Invasive species can makeyour wallet thinner. Not only do invasive species taxnative fish and plants by disrupting the ecosystem,some devastate private property, damaging your boats,marinas, irrigation systems, or public water works—and the expenses are passed on to consumers. In theend, we all pay. This is why we are aggressively tacklingthis threat to our native aquatic systems head on witha multi-pronged approach. We are currently examiningall existing authorities both within and outside theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to harness all of theseauthorities to better protect our aquatic systems. Thisapproach includes prevention, control, and eradicationstrategies. The 1990 Nonindigenous Aquatic NuisancePrevention and Control Act gave us the legislativemeans to address invasive species. It was throughthis legislation that we created the Aquatic NuisanceSpecies Task Force, which I co-chair alongside with theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Join Us to Make a DifferenceBy Bryan ArroyoThis Task Force, made up of other federal agenciesand regional panels whose participants are privateenterprises, tribal governments and state governments,steers our work on the water. The Task Force is energizedand looking at all avenues to better address invasivespecies. Legislative authority by itself isn’t enough. Weare enjoined fully with limited resources, but I fear it’s abattle we are currently losing.These points are illustrated in this issue of Eddies in thestory by David Britton, titled “Conservation in a Quagga-mire.” Dr. Britton refers to the quagga and zebra musselinvasions that occurred in the Great Lakes via ballastrelease, and then spread to points across the country asan “ecological cancer.” The metaphor is fitting. In thesingular, these tiny mussels are unimpressive. In theaggregate—and they do amass upon one another in alarge way—these little organisms are very destructive tonative fish fauna, and to public water works.Writer-biologist Susan Jewell punctuates the point in herstory, “Invasive Species in our Waters.” Jewell gives us anumbrella look at the issue in the U.S., and strikes a chord,saying “Because water provides such a perfect pathwayfor pernicious pests, our continent is both blessed andcursed.” The ravages of injurious organisms will not be easilyovercome. Witness the story on giant salvinia by retiredbiologist, Bob Pitman. The Brazilian plant that canspread by boats turns lake coves, bayous, ponds, andduck marshes into fields of the leafy plant in short order.Controlling the plant is no easy matter.The jury is still out on what “rock snot” may do to ourfisheries. Also known as didymo, John Bryan tells howthis single-celled diatomaceous algae moves by boots, andgrows, and what it may do in the future. It’s not much tolook at, but what it may do to native ecosystems remainsto be seen.All of the invasive species, terrestrial or aquatic, haveone thing in common: you. It’s you who can help stop thespread. Through our social marketing efforts, as you willsee on the back cover, we are attempting to educate folksthroughout industry, through consumers, and throughyou the reader, that it is they who can make a difference.If there’s any message to take home from this issue ofEddies, that’s the one. You can make a difference.Bryan Arroyo is the Assistant Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation in Washington, DC.HeadwatersUSFWS
  4. 4. 4  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Running Head TextWatermarksfrom its American River Hatchery,with a million additional trout stockedin later years.Removing invasive pike worked.Recent creel surveys show thataverage catch per angler-hourincreased from 0.12 fish to 0.31 fish,turning Lake Davis back into anexcellent trout fishery.Dingell-Johnson Sport FishRestoration Act funds come fromfederal manufacturing excise taxeson fishing tackle, trolling motors,and motorboat fuels, distributed tostate fish and wildlife agencies. Thesefunds support fishery managementthat benefits anglers. F Thomas McCoyCalifornia Department of Fish and Game biologists apply CFT Legumine to kill unwanted, invasive northern pike in Lake Davis.CaliforniaFishandGameDepartmentNorthern pike out, rainbow trout inWhere northern pike are not native,they’re not wanted. Case in point,Lake Davis, California. Northernpike were illegally introduced inthe watershed, and showed up inLake Davis in 1994. The CaliforniaDepartment of Fish and Game(CDFG) eradicated northernpike with the piscicide rotenonethree years later. By 1999, CDFGbiologists rediscovered northernpike in Lake Davis. Following thecontroversial use of rotenone and alawsuit, biologists sought to removenorthern pike again, but withoutrotenone. Through various means, about65,000 northern pike were takenfrom the lake. But pike populationscontinued to dramatically rebound,and affect several sport fish species.Northern pike also threatened tomigrate over the spillway and spreadinto the Sacramento San JoaquinDelta, potentially damaging a muchlarger sport fishery. This promptedthe CDFG to plan another pikeeradication. They used Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish RestorationAct funds to plan, buy materials,test water quality, and conduct fishsurveys before and after treatment.In September 2007, CDFG personneleradicated northern pike fromLake Davis, and nearby streamsusing the piscicide, CFT Legumine.When biologists determined severalmonths later that the lake was free ofchemicals and pike, CDFG stocked31,000 Eagle Lake rainbow trout
  5. 5. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationRunning Head TextFEATURED FACILITYLake Champlain Fish and Wildlife ResourcesOffice Where: Essex Junction, Vermont When: Established in 1992 Then: The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office (LCFWRO)was established for fisheries conservation in the Lake Champlain SpecialDesignation Act of 1990, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Lake ChamplainBasin Program Act of 2002.Now: Biologists with the LCFWRO restore populations of lake trout andlandlocked Atlantic salmon in Lake Champlain and its Vermont, New York,and Quebec tributaries. Both species were extirpated more than a centuryago, yet in cooperation with our partners in Vermont and New York, theLCFWRO has established new populations through stocking. Stocking isonly part of the restoration work. Biologists spend more time controllinginvasive sea lamprey—a nuisance, an eel-like, parasitic fish that if itspopulation is not suppressed, would decimate the trout and salmon. Throughthe use of barriers that prevent lamprey spawning, traps that interceptadults, and piscicides that kill larval lampreys, restoration of trout and salmonprogresses. Innovative and effective lamprey controls that minimize theenvironmental impact have paid off. The lamprey population has been morethan halved over the past five years, while the size and number of lake troutand Atlantic salmon have increased. F Bradley A. Young, Ph.D.An adult sea lamprey sucks on thepalm of field technician, PatrickMcLaughlin, as it does when itparasitizes lake trout and Atlanticsalmon, causing stress andwounds that often result in thehost’s death.WayneBouffard/USFWSThis online map shows where Largemouth Bass Virus hasbeen detected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologistsat nine Fish Health Centers around the country. The mapis delineated by watershed. The virus has been found inwatersheds colored pink.JoshuaBradley/USFWSInternet provides global connection to fish health surveyA new website allows anyone to access data from anationwide survey focused on the health of America’sfisheries. Through the National Wild Fish Health Survey,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service examines fish forimportant disease-causing pathogens and parasites inAmerica’s lakes and streams. Knowing where pathogensoccur is a first-line defense to prevent disease.Since 1996, nearly 220,000 fish have been examined fromsome 4,600 distinct sites in 2,560 water bodies. In all, fishhealth practitioners examined more than 260 fish species.Those fishes were tested at the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService’s nine Fish Health Centers and the resultsposted on the website. The website allows users to queryusing a search form and an interactive map, downloadreports, and create custom maps. Search results maybe saved for use in spreadsheet applications or “earthbrowsers,” such as Google Earth®. To find out what’s inyour watershed, go to www.fws.gov/wildfishsurvey. FKen Peters
  6. 6. 6  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Running Head TextTaiwan satellite tomonitor Ohio Riverwaters weedsHydrilla. It’s an invasive plant fromAfrica that’s made its way into theOhio River basin, probably hitchinga ride on a boat trailer. It has takenroot, and so has the Asian-nativecurly leaf pond weed, both in thebackwater bays of the big river,where young native fish live. Theunwanted weeds could confound fishmanagement. But now, thanks to apartnership with multiple state andfederal agencies under the auspicesof the Ohio River Basin Fish HabitatPartnership—and the country ofTaiwan—the Carterville Fish andWildlife Conservation Office, Illinois,will oversee an aquatic weed surveythat will save time and money andtarget control efforts the length of theriver. Taiwan’s Formosat-2 satellitewill provide the means to monitor theunderwater weeds. F Richard ChristianNewts and frogs susceptible to mass die-offBiologists from the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service’s Fish HealthCenter in Lamar, Pennsylvania,teamed with Penn State Universitystaff, to test frogs and newts fromthe Delaware Water Gap NationalRecreation Area. The intent: finddiseases of national concern.The researchers tested wood frog,gray tree frog, spring peeper, andred-spotted newt—111 amphibiansin all—for the deadly Chytridfungus and viral pathogens. Usingleading-edge technology, laboratoryanalysis revealed that some ofthe animals had characteristicsof an Iridovirus; others had traitscharacteristic of “frog virus 3” andother potentially serious disorders.Chytrid fungus was not found.Their findings were published inthe scientific periodical Journal ofOn June 22, 2010, a contractcommercial fisher hired by IllinoisDNR caught a single, 19.6-poundmale bighead carp in Lake Calumet,in the Chicago Area WaterwaySystem (CAWS). Lake Calumet,above T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam, isabout six miles from Lake Michigan.Asian carp caught above electric barrierThis is the first Asian carp capturedabove the U.S. Army Corps ofEngineer’s electric barrier system,and the second specimen captured inthe CAWS since December 2009.The recent catch occurred duringroutine sampling by the Asian CarpRegional CoordinatingCommittee (RCC). RCCmember agencies—includingIllinois DNR, U.S. ArmyCorps of Engineers, andthe U.S. Fish and WildlifeService—began animmediate rapid-response toremove any additional Asiancarp from Lake Calumet, ifpresent. The USFWS willcontinue to work directlywith its agency partners tocontrol Asian carp in theCAWS. F Aaron Woldt An Asian carp leaps from the wake of a passingboat.ChrisYoung/StateJournalRegisterRed-spotted newts, like this one, were studied by the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService’s Lamar Fish Health Center, in Pennsylvania. Findings were published inthe Journal of Aquatic Animal Health.TomBarnes/UniversityofKentuckyAquatic Animal Health, where theynoted no die-offs in the field, but whatwas detected in the laboratory couldcause mass amphibian mortality. FCraig Springer
  7. 7. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationRunning Head TextFROM THE ATTICNotes from D.C. Booth HistoricNational Fish Hatchery and ArchivesYou had to be “picky” to work in the National FishHatchery System back in the old days. The pickier thebetter, or perhaps better stated, the greater the successat culturing fish. Hatchery workers learned that deadfish eggs, if left among the live eggs, spread fungus andkilled more eggs. The dead eggs had to be removed,and without harming the live eggs. The technology ofmechanical egg sorters, which are used today, was yearsaway.A reliable but slow method of egg removal was handpicking. Need spawned special tongs. These tweezers-like devices had small loop rings at the working endsto pick up an individual egg. With great tedium, oneby one, the bad eggs could be removed from the goodeggs. Some of the egg tongs were finely crafted,carved of flexible wood with brass loops fastened tothe ends, smoothed and finished. At the other end ofcraftsmanship, but high on the ingenuity scale, are thepair made from a hacksaw blade. Bent in half, roughmetal loops are soldered on the ends of the blade.Eggs being delicate, the saw teeth were smoothed off.Picking dead eggs was a tedious task, often done by wives ofhatchery employees, with tools both crude and creative.RandiSueSmith/USFWSAnother pair is cut from sheet brass, neatly shapedand bent to form tongs with dished rings at the ends.At egg-picking time, extra staff hired on, and couldbe found nearby among the wives and children ofthe hatchery workers. Many lived on the hatcheries,conveniently close. One photograph housed in theArchives shows young women picking eggs in thebetter light at the hatchery windows. One suspectsthat these young ladies knew the photographerwas coming, as they wear white lacey collars thatseem more suited to afternoon calls than handlingtrays of fish eggs. Photographers were rare, and theegg pickers would have wanted to look their best.Eventually, automation antiquated hand-picking, but atleast seven pairs of egg tongs have survived the years,and live in our collection. F Randi Sue SmithProgram and the Arkansas Game andFish Commission in the 4,000-acrePiney Creek basin, in March 2009.After removing fish with a piscicide,no snakehead were found in the firstfollow-up. But that didn’t last. ByOctober, snakehead had once againappeared in Piney Creek. Snakeheadare fruitful, spawning up to five timesa year, and adults guard their young along time.Biologists continue to monitor thesnakehead population to bettertarget their eradication in theArkansas creek. The snakehead hasalso invaded waters in Florida, NewYork, California, Pennsylvania, andMassachusetts, proving the worth ofprevention over cure. F Ricky CampbellSnakehead eradication proving tough in ArkansasAptly named, the invasive northern snakehead has been found in six states.SusanTrammel/Bugwood.org“One man’s trash is another man’streasure” holds true for the northernsnakehead. In its native range inKorea, the fish with a snake-likeappearance is a highly sought food-fish, viewed as a delicacy. Not so, inArkansas. Here it’s an unwantedpredator with potential to out-compete and replace native species. Iteats fish, almost exclusively.The snakehead made national newsin 2002, when a specimen was caughtin a Maryland pond, and then in2008, the fish caused a shudder inArkansas. Like a scene from a badB-movie, another specimen was foundsquirming on a country road, leftbehind with receding flood waters.That led to an intense eradicationeffort by employees from the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service’s Fisheries-
  8. 8. 8  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010PioneersHistory may not repeat itself, exactly.But it does at least rhyme.You’ll hear a resonance in thementored relationship BartonWarren Evermann had with hisichthyology professor, David StarrJordan, a rapport like poet-laureateRobert Frost had with writerWallace Stegner; Plato to Socrates;Archimedes to Galileo; Obi-WanKenobi to Luke Skywalker. Theaffinity built between Evermann andJordan yielded a mountain of scientificliterature in fisheries conservationwell beyond the classroom. Both werefull-fledged members of the gilded ageof American ichthyology. From it all,Barton Evermann created a greatergood, employed by the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service’s ancestral FisheriesProgram, starting in 1886.Barton Evermann was born in Iowain 1853, and moved at a very youngBy Craig Springerage with his parents to an Indianafarm where he grew up, studied, andmarried. Despite his world travels anda career that would plant him on thePacific Coast later in life, Evermannconsidered Indiana his home. TheEvermann farm near Flora, Indiana,is still in the family where Sam, Jane,and son John Evermann Zook stillwork the land.Teaching was Evermann’s firstprofession, starting at age 18, andone he practiced intermittently therest of his life. From 1871 to 1879, hetaught in Indiana schools, and thenventured west to California for a two-year teaching stint. He returned tothe Hoosier state in 1881, and enrolledat Indiana University to studyichthyology under Jordan. Evermannand Jordan had been acquaintedsince 1877, when he and his wife tookan extended fish-collecting trip withhim through Kentucky to Georgia.From 1883 to 1885, Evermann tooka break from the university to serveas the superintendent of CarrollCounty schools. He finished his firstdegree in 1886, and published one ofhis first papers, “Fishes observed inthe vicinity of Brookville, FranklinCounty, Indiana” in the Bulletin ofthe Brookville Society of NaturalHistory. A cascade of scientificpapers, books and magazine stories onfish, birds and mammals would followfor the next 45 years.Evermann continued his studiesat Indiana University whilesimultaneously chairing the biologydepartment at Indiana State NormalSchool, thusly earning a master’sand then a doctorate by 1891. Theyear he earned his Ph.D., andthrough his connection with Jordan,Evermann the ichthyologist took ajob as a research scientist aboard theAlbatross and steamed to the BeringBarton Warren EvermannBarton Warren Evermann posedfor this portrait in the early 1900s,about the time he led a U.S. Bureau ofFisheries crew to the Sierra Nevadas tolearn more about an unknown trout.Research.calacademy.orgWritten in Evermann’s hand, this map sketches out the route that he took to findtwo new species of trout in the Sierra Nevadas in 1904.Research.calacademy.org
  9. 9. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationSea. The ship was the world’s firstvessel built specifically for scientificinquiry, operated by the U.S. Navyfor the U.S. Fish Commission, thepredecessor of the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service.During Evermann’s tenure with theFish Commission (called the Bureauof Fisheries after 1903), he traveled allover the U.S. and the world studyingthings aquatic. His capabilities asa scientist and administrator ledto his rise in the agency. Based inWashington DC, he was the FishCommission’s Ichthyologist from1891 to 1914. He led the Division ofStatistics and Methods of Fisheriesin 1902 and 1903. From 1903 to 1910,he was the Chief of Scientific Inquiry,simultaneously serving as Curator ofFish at the U.S. National Museum.From 1910 to 1914, he was the Chiefof Alaska Fisheries. All the while,Evermann lectured on fisheriesscience periodically at Cornell andYale universities, and somehow foundthe time to serve as Vice Presidentof the Washington DC, board ofeducation from 1906 to 1910.During Evermann’s tenure with theFish Commission and the Bureau,he was a prodigious writer, much ofwhat he produced co-written with hisformer professor. Most any fisheriesprofessional is familiar with “Jordanand Evermann” in the scientificliterature. But Evermann alsoauthored scientific papers alone.“The Golden Trout of the SouthernHigh Sierras,” is one such paper,published by the Bureau of Fisheriesin 1906. Stuart Edward White’s book,The Mountain caught PresidentTeddy Roosevelt’s attention in 1904,where White penned a concern for anative trout in the Sierras. Rooseveltdirected Evermann to investigate.In a fashion very much like thecapabilities of the current FisheriesProgram’s 67 Fish and WildlifeConservation Offices around thecountry today, Evermann mounted anexpedition to learn more about thesepresumed rare trout. On horseback,Evermann led a Bureau of Fisheriesteam to the high country to learnmore.What culminated were two newspecies of fish: Roosevelt’s trout andWhite’s trout. Evermann determinedthat California’s Kern River containedtwo rare fishes, which he namedSalmo roosevelti and S. whitei, tohonor the president and the citizen-conservationist. Evermann’s “GoldenTrout” paper laid out potentialconservation measures for the fish.Other scientists have since revised thespecies designations, but Evermann’sdescriptions remain a testament to hiscapabilities in the field and at a desk. Evermann left the Bureau ofFisheries in 1914 to direct theCalifornia Academy of Science,where he continued to researchand publish on fisheries, with andwithout Jordan. He held that jobuntil his death in 1932, and hisremains were interred near his oldIndiana farm. All told, he publishednearly 400 scientific papers, mostlyrelated to fishes, and many beingdescriptions of new species.The Evermann name liveson in organisms named byothers in his honor: four fishgenera include Evermanni,Evermanella, Evermanolus, andEvermannichthys. Perhaps themost significant namesake is foundon maps, the highest point in theArchipelagos—Mt. Evermann—to go along with the mountain ofscientific research that spanned acareer. FBarton Evermann named this fish, Roosevelt’s trout, in honor of PresidentTheodore Roosevelt following his U.S. Bureau of Fisheries expedition in 1904. Itsdistinction as a unique species was later revised by other scientists.U.S.BureauofFisheries
  10. 10. 10  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Common carpBy Craig Springerdistributed of minnows, if not allfreshwater fish species, owing to itsnatural attributes and the works ofpeople. When Linnaeus set a name tothe common carp, it had already beentransplanted to Europe for food.The common carp appears in writingin China circa 500 BCE. Fast forwarda thousand years to the Common Eraand common carp show up in writingin a circular to government officialsin the Ostrogothic Kingdom, circa theyear 500. Cassidorus, the secretary toKing Theodoric of Ostrogoth, orderedhigh governing officials over present-day southern Europe to advance thesupply of common carp for the king’stable.American Fishessport on the end of a line. If you’rean angler, you’ve probably caughtone. These things are certain: it’s anaturalized American fish, and thecommon carp is just that—common.The Swedish medical doctor, CarlLinnaeus, who named you Homosapiens, also penned the scientificname of the common carp. In his 1758edition of Systema Naturae he calledit Cyprinus carpio to fall in withother members of the minnow family,the Cyprinidae. The nomenclaturecomes from the birthplace ofAphrodite, or Cypris, the goddess oflove and beauty, the Island of Cyprus.The common carp is one of hundredsof minnow species worldwide, andamong the largest-growing of themall. And it is certainly the most widelyIf the common carp was a vegetable,it would be the Brussels sprout.The dark green plant has beendomestically cultivated since the daysof ancient Rome. The small ball ofleaves appeared in early writings,and took its common name for itspopularity on the table in Belgium.There is no discernable reason to eatthe vegetable that smells of sulfur,yet the cabbage cultivar made its wayto America in the 1800s with Frenchsettlers landing in Louisiana.You either like Brussels sprouts,or you don’t. And so it is with thecommon carp. It is seen as thegreatest fish transplant attempt evertaken on, or the worst of government-sponsored ecological disasters. Thefish is either a nuisance, or greatCommon carp were introduced into the United States in the 19th century, and have become common throughout the country.They live 38 years and grow to nearly 90 pounds.
  11. 11. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries Conservationless cost than bovine or fowl on landsmore suited to water than grains.According to U.S. Fish and WildlifeService historian Dr. Mark Madison,Baird was not only a consummatescientist, but also an astute politician(see Eddies Special Issue 2009).Baird cultured common carp in thecapital city, in ponds at the base ofthe Washington Monument. He madefingerlings available to Congressmento send to their constituents backhome. Railroads veined over thelandscape and sent common carpoverland in Fish Commission railcars.The fish may have been suitable forthe king’s table in a far-off land, at atime far removed from 19th centuryAmerica. But the populace in thisrepublic resisted. Even recipespublished by the Fish Commissioncouldn’t sway sentiment. Commoncarp never gained favor.Throughout the country now, commoncarp swim just about anywhere thereis water, be it flowing or flat, clear orpolluted, a farm creek in the Midwest,or a reservoir in the South. Theylive in every state in the continentalU.S., that ubiquity due not only to thedesires of Baird and the conformity ofthe early state fish commissions, butto the fish itself.Warm and muddy waters are whatcommon carp like. If they invadeclear water, they will soon turn it off-color. They make a living by rootingand wallowing in the bottoms lookingfor food, aided by the barbels in thecorners of their mouth. And they eatanything, living or dead. What theydon’t eat gets coated in mud, whichmakes the fish a nuisance. Fish eggssuffocate in silt and important aquaticinsect habitats are ruined. Nativefishes that live by sight, like the topThe big minnow had beendomesticated by the time the fisharrived in the U.S. The commoncarp was probably established inthe Hudson River basin by 1850.But the decade of the 1880s hasbeen fixed as the most successfuleffort, one that tipped the scale infavor of the invasive minnow takinghold in American waters. WithSpencer Baird leading the U.S. FishCommission, common carp flourished.Baird knew that the fish was adelicacy in Germany. He reasonedthat the fish would be happilyreceived in the U.S. given that it hadbeen cultivated in the Old World fora good long time. Baird believed thatcommon carp could feed the people—that the fish could be grown for muchJoeTomelleri predators, can’t see so well in themuddied water.The common carp gains a competitiveedge in that a mature femaleproduces about two million eggs.They are spring spawners. Usually byMay in the South both sexes gatherin the shallows of streams or lakeswhere they roil en masse in weedybays or the big river backwaters.Pods of a few males fertilize eggs ofone or two females at a time. Theirfertilized eggs stick to vegetationand hatch in a week, and the youngset about eating microscopic plantsand animals. Their diet soon turns toplants and roots, mollusks and bugs,small fish, eggs, and carrion, and theymuddy the waters as they go along.Granted, not every egg is fertilizedand not every fertile egg grows intoa mature fish. But this much is true,young common carp are fast-growingand can out-compete young nativeminnow and sunfish species for foodand space.Something else to chew on: whatwould the American palate be withoutBrussels sprouts? Well, there arethose who see no reason to have thevegetable on the plate. What it lacksin taste, though, it makes up for innutrients. American waters would bevastly different had the swimmingnuisance not become so common. Buta fish that grows to 90 pounds, lives38 years, and is surprisingly waryhas its adherents of ardent anglerswho take the fish by bow, fly, gear, orspear.In the end, the success of thecommon carp in American waters isa testament of what not to do. Don’tspread fish around. Arguably, though,the common carp has become anAmerican fish. F
  12. 12. 12  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010By Susan JewellInvasive Species in Our WatersThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is uniquely authorized tomanage unwanted aquatic organisms“It’s a tiny little program withincredible people that is trying tostave off a colossal problem.” That’show Dr. Stuart Leon describes theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’sAquatic Invasive Species (AIS)Program. Leon oversees AIS issuesin the Fisheries Program as itsChief of the Division of Fisheriesand Aquatic Resources. With anestimated 50,000 or more non-indigenous terrestrial and aquaticspecies that have invaded the U.S., ata cost of more than $120 billion a yearin ecological damages and controlcosts, it’s easy to see that the 23 full-time employees nationwide have ademanding workload. Invasive species are a growingproblem, threatening the very core ofour national fisheries resources. Mostof them arrive from other continentswithout the diseases or predatorsthat would keep their populations incheck naturally. Plants and animalshave been carried across the seasto North America by people for atleast five centuries, but only a fewbecame pests early on. Not until thelast century—the era of intensifiedglobalization by machine-poweredcraft—did multitudes more speciesand pathogens land on our soils and inour waters. Because water providessuch a perfect pathway for perniciouspests, our continent is both blessedand cursed. We are blessed withabundant waterways, and thereforecursed with abundant pathways andopportunities for disaster.Even terrestrial invaders canharm aquatic resources by alteringsurrounding watersheds, but aquaticinvaders often fester unnoticed inunderwater realms until they are tooestablished to be eradicated. TheseBugwood.orgPurple loosestrife goes by another name, “the purple plague.” This invasive plantturns wetlands and shallow fish-nursery waters into dense mats of plant matter.
  13. 13. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries Conservationinvaders have taken a grave toll onour fisheries resources. Becausethe Fisheries Program restores andmaintains aquatic resources, it isentwined with the problems createdby invasive species.The journey to quash theinvaders got an early start. In1900, Congressman John Laceyrecognized the potential crisescaused by the “unwise introductionof foreign birds and animals” andspearheaded the passage of theLacey Act. The Act authorizes theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to listinvasive vertebrates, mollusks, andcrustaceans as injurious wildlife ifthey are deemed to be “injurious orpotentially injurious to the healthand welfare of human beings, to theinterests of forestry, agriculture,and horticulture, and to the welfareand survival of the wildlife andwildlife resources of the UnitedStates.” Once a species is listed, itsimportation and interstate transportis prohibited. The Lacey Act wasvisionary for its time by allowingthe listing of species that had notyet become established—certainlythe most effective way to fend offinvasive catastrophes. Fruit bats,mongooses, and some birds werelisted as injurious in 1900. Injuriousaquatic species today include thewalking catfish, Chinese mitten crab,snakehead, and three species of Asiancarp. The U.S. Fish and WildlifeService is currently ramping up itsuse of the Lacey Act as one tool ofan integrated plan to prevent theestablishment of invasive species. One of the early aquatic invaders toexplode onto the “most unwanted”scene was the sea lamprey, a parasiticfish of the Atlantic Ocean that got afree pass through the Great Lakesin 1829 after the Welland Canal wasdug to bypass Niagara Falls. TheU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cut itsproverbial teeth by addressing sealamprey impacts on lake trout in the1950s under the auspices of the GreatLakes FisheryCommission.The zebra mussel,which hitchhikedto North Americain ballast wateron ships fromEurope and wasdiscovered in theGreat Lakes in 1988,elevated the issue ofinvasive species toa national level. Thediminutive bivalvesclog water intakepipes and filteressential nutrientsaway from nativeorganisms. The phenomenal damagecaused by the sheer numbers of zebramussels led to the passage of theNonindigenous Aquatic NuisancePrevention and Control Act of 1990(NANPCA). NANPCA provideda way for government agenciesto develop a national program toreduce the risk of unintentionalintroductions, ensure promptdetection and response, and controlestablished species. NANCPA wassubsequently reauthorized andamended in 1996 by the NationalInvasive Species Act. Congress hadadded the zebra mussel to the list ofinjurious wildlife in 1991.NANCPA established a taskforce that has grown to 13 federalmembers and 12 ex-officio membersto coordinate governmental effortswith those of the private sector andother North American interests. ThisAquatic Nuisance Species Task Force(ANSTF) is co-chaired by the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service and theNational Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration. The ANSTFestablished regional panels thatinclude representatives from states,Indian tribes, non-governmentalorganizations, commercial interests,and neighboring countries to addressinvasive species.MikeGoehle/USFWSU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists try to thin out matsof invasive water chestnut in New York.Rolling back thecarpetBefore June: six acres of openwater in a New York county park.After June: a carpet of waterchestnut that grinds all boating,fishing, and recreational use to ahalt for the rest of the summer.Isolated rosettes of plants arebeginning to pop up severalmiles outside the park, likely dueto hitchhikers on boats, drift ofseeds in the current, and perhapsattachment to waterfowl. Biologistsare checking for stragglers outsidethe park and getting a mechanicalharvester to eradicate this year’scrop. It will be a multi-year responseto eradicate this population, aswell as the single rosettes we’refinding, but our most important goalis to prevent establishment in theNiagara River, Lake Erie, and LakeOntario. Mike Goehle, NortheastRegion AIS CoordinatorMikeGoehle/USFWSNo boats can navigate this thickmat of water chestnut in New York.
  14. 14. 14  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Many parts of the FisheriesProgram play a role to directlyor indirectly reduce the threatof invasive species to maintainor restore aquatic ecosystems.Some examples are:• The National Fish HatcherySystem produces native specieswhose populations werethreatened with extinction andothers depleted by invasivespecies. Hatchery staff researchtechniques to prevent thespread of invasive species whentransporting and releasinghatchery-reared species.• The National Fish HabitatAction Plan, modeled after theNorth American WaterfowlManagement Plan, was adoptedby state and federal agenciesin 2006 to protect, restore, andenhance priority habitats. SaysTom Busiahn, the Service’scoordinator, “Declines of ourfreshwater fishery resourcesare largely due to habitat lossand invasive species. But manyinvasive species also alterhabitat, so the effects of theseproblems are interrelated. TheFisheries Program brings anintegrated conservation ‘toolbox’to meet the challenges they poseto our aquatic ecosystems.”• The Fish Technology Centers,Fish Health Centers, and AquaticAnimal Drug Approval Partnershipprovide national scientific andtechnical leadership to solvefishery and hatchery managementproblems, including how to dealwith invasive species.• The Injurious Wildlife Programendeavors to prevent the spreadof extremely damaging invasivewildlife species by listing them asinjurious under the Lacey Act.• The National Fish PassageProgram provides grants andtechnical assistance to agencies,tribes, and communities toremove barriers to fish passage.Other coordination efforts exist. TheNational Invasive Species Council,developed under Executive Order13112 in 1999, called for a nationalplan to coordinate federal agencyefforts. The Fisheries Program’sANSTF Executive Secretaryrepresents the Service on thiscouncil. The ANSTF is the only entitythat has statutory standing and isoperationally linked to on-the-groundconservation.How aquatic invaders get a root-or shell-hold in a new land is ofparamount importance. The singlemost significant pathway for invasivespecies has been in ballast water oflarge ocean-going ships. However,since these introductions have creptinland from the coasts, finding waysto relate this issue nationally tothe public is critical. When zebramussels subtly spread from the GreatLakes by way of boating and fishingequipment, boaters and anglersbecame the primary focus of theANSTF’s national public awarenesscampaign. While this campaigngained traction, a representativeof the pet and aquarium industryapproached the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service to develop a similarcampaign to curb the release ofunwanted aquarium pets and plantsinto the wild. Today, both of these campaigns serveas the public face of the ANSTF. Known respectively as Stop AquaticHitchhikers!®™and Habitattitude™,Exercising those musselsFire drills, earthquake drills . . . mussel drills? The Pacific Northwest, home oficonic salmon and steelhead runs, is one of the few remaining places in theU.S. not yet invaded by the insidious zebra and quagga mussels. The U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service and its partners work hard to keep it that way. Thoughprevention is the priority, they coordinate drills via the Columbia River Basinrapid response plan as a second line of defense. To test and improve the plan,regular response drills work through “what if” scenarios. This translates to amore effective response if a real introduction occurs. A recent exercise in Idaho’sLucky Peak Reservoir trained local law enforcement dive teams in underwatermussel surveys. A drill planned for the fall of 2010 will focus on coordinatinga Canada-U.S. response within boundary waters. Paul Heimowitz, PacificRegion AIS Coordinatorthey are coordinated nationally bythe Fisheries Program (see backcover). Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!encourages people to become partof the solution by decontaminatingtheir boats, trailers, and other aquaticgear after leaving a waterway.Habitattitude educates pet ownersand ornamental pond owners notto release plants, ornamental fish,snails, and other aquatic animalsinto natural waters by providingalternatives to this environmentallydamaging action. Northernsnakehead, nonnative catfish, waterhyacinth, and hydrilla are examplesof aquarium and ornamental pondanimals and plants that havedrastically reduced the ability offreshwater bodies to sustain nativefisheries. A dense carpet of aquaticinvasive plants can force a motorboatto a standstill. The campaigns workat the community level and encouragethe caring public to be responsible.These campaigns are a springboardfor conservation at the local level thathave the potential to create jobs andgalvanize citizen support to protectour aquatic resources.The Fisheries Program supportsone Aquatic Invasive SpeciesCoordinator in each of its eightadministrative regions across thecountry. That title might conjure upan image of someone trying to traina team of quagga mussels, but thesecoordinators play a critical role inconnecting information and resourceswith management needs. They both
  15. 15. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationBugwood.orgsupport and receive support fromfield biologists and spend muchof their time collaborating withprivate and public partners. Onany given day, they may developbudget proposals and review grantproject reports, lead a trainingcourse, meet with state agencies todevelop a monitoring plan, or givea presentation to a youth group.Engaged in prevention, earlydetection, rapid response, and long-term control projects at local andnational scales, the aquatic invasivespecies biologists wear nearly asmany hats as the plethora of invasivespecies they target.Much of the invasive species fieldwork is accomplished throughcoordination with the U.S. Fishand Wildlife Service’s 67 Fish andWildlife Conservation Offices aroundthe country that work with thestates agencies and other partners.Their efforts include implementingan integrated pest managementapproach for sea lamprey controlin the Great Lakes and LakeChamplain, tracking snakeheadmovements in the Potomac River,eradicating water chestnut fromthe New York State Canal System,managing Chinese mitten crab alongthe California coast, and servingon the frontline of our fight againstmany of the highest profile invasivespecies.Certainly, invasive species are not theonly threat to aquatic ecosystems.But if we could magically end allother threats except for invasivespecies, we would still ultimately losethe race to save our corner of theplanet. The “tiny little program” isswimming against the tide, but it ispooling its talents in a big way. FSusan Jewell is an Injurious Wildlife ListingCoordinator for the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService, stationed in Arlington, Virginia.creditThick mats of hydrilla cover shallow waters, choking fish habitat.
  16. 16. 16  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Its scientific name couldn’t be moreappropriate: Salvinia molesta. Thisfloating plant has a predilection forbeing a problem. It’s often called “theworld’s worst aquatic weed” for goodreasons. In common terms, it’s knownas giant salvinia. Giant salvinia isn’t a towering plant,but it grows voluminous. Unchecked,Giant SalviniaInvasive plant creates giant headache in the SouthBy Bob Pitmanit rages out of control spreading overwater surfaces, doubling the area itcan cover in as little as five days. It isan invasive floating fern native only toBrazil. It has become a giant problemin Texas and Louisiana where it wasunintentionally introduced. The plantthreatens all southern-tier stateswhere warmer conditions suit theplant. In the last 70 years it has beenIt is not a field. This east-Texas bayou is covered with the invasive giant salvinia.
  17. 17. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries Conservationspread by people to Australia, NewZealand, Africa, India, and PapuaNew Guinea.You may have seen it by its marketname, “koi kandy,” where it has beenpopularly sold to aquarium ownersfor several decades. The aquarium oraqua-garden trade is probably howthe plant made its way into the openwaters of Texas in 1998.Once established in open water, boatmovement most likely spread plantfragments to several east-Texaslakes including Toledo Bend, Caddo,Conroe, and Sam Rayburn, as well asto several Louisiana lakes. Anglersand boaters lost open water andfishing opportunities, and relatedbusinesses lost some livelihood.Ducks lost habitat, and lake-frontproperty dropped in value.Here is something else to consider.Giant salvinia is a big financial burdenfor state fish and game agencies,as they are forced to deal with yetanother stressor on natural resourcesmanagement. Recently, Louisianamanagers began partially drainingpopular Lake Bistineau to improvegiant salvinia control. The drawdownmay last throughout 2011.A single plant of giant salviniaconsists of a horizontal stem floatingjust below the surface with twothumb-sized emergent green leavescovered with short hairs that are joined at the tips, resembling aneggbeater. A modified third leaf isbrown, highly divided and danglesbelow the water surface resemblingroots. Leaf pairs are produced ateach node growing ropes of giantsalvinia. The prolific plant reproducesby fragmenting. Pieces grow intoentirely new plants. Individual plantsor floating fragments are readilydispersed by wind, water currents,or people. The plant easily invadesnew locations. Giant salvinia is nativeto Brazil’s temperate waters and cansurvive some winter freezing butwill not persist where surface iceforms. With optimum conditions oftemperature, sunlight and nutrients,the plant grows at an astonishingrate. A single plant has been knownto cover forty square miles of water inthree months.TexasParksandWildlifeDepartmentUnchecked,it rages outof controlspreading overwater surfaces,doubling thearea it can coverin as little asfive days.…A single planthas been knownto cover fortysquare miles ofwater in threemonths.
  18. 18. 18  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Aquarium owners and aqua-gardeners desire giant salviniabecause it is persistent, hard to kill,easily shipped with minimal expenseand guaranteed to arrive alive tocustomers. Unfortunately, theseare also classic qualities inherentto invasive species. Giant salviniais a notorious hitchhiker. Suppliersoften unintentionally send it, if onlyfragments, in shipments of otherrequested aquatic plants. Australian researcher Dr. DavidMitchell scientifically describedSalvinia molesta in the early 1970s.He appropriately named the species“molesta” to emphasize what hehad seen this plant do to waters inAustralia, Africa and Papua NewGuinea. The U.S. Departmentof Agriculture responded to hiswarning and listed Salvinia molestaas a Noxious Weed to prevent itsnaturally co-exist in nature in Brazil,the weevil so named since it eats theplant. The weevil has successfullycontrolled giant salvinia around theworld.Scientists have researched, reared,and released the control weevil inTexas and Louisiana for a decade,but with limited success so far.Giant salvinia spreads quicker thanthe weevil can eat, or the bug canreproduce. Winter weather sets theweevil back, more than it does giantsalvinia. A control strategy it seems,will include weevils, herbicides andmechanical removal.Giant salvinia is only one among alist of other aquatic invasive plants.One thing they almost all have incommon is that invasions of theseplants cost much money to control—not eradicate, but control. Federalpurposeful importation. However,the loose net of federal and stateregulations and authorities used toblock invasive species distributionsand movements were not sufficientto prevent the inevitable release ofgiant salvinia. It is now, and probablyforever, a permanent challenge toconservation in the southern U.S.Giant salvinia is a serious invasivespecies, but it does have someweakness. Present controls involve spray crewsregularly treating giant salvinia matswith herbicides to temporarily reducecoverage. Only in rare circumstancesdo herbicides provide long-termrelief. Mechanical controls are alsovery costly and temporary. Giantsalvinia control may ultimately beachieved by the herbivorous salviniaweevil. The weevil and the plantThe salvinia weevil shows promise in controlling giant salvinia, especially when combined with mechanical and chemicalcontrols.TexasParksandWildlifeDepartment
  19. 19. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries Conservationand state agencies, universities andstakeholder groups are increasinglyworking together to control the plant.Hydrilla and Eurasian water milfoilare two such examples. Both arenative to Asia and Europe. Hydrillaforms extremely dense coloniesgrowing from bottom to surfacein water up to 20 feet deep. Watermilfoil forms dense colonies fromthe bottom to the surface, thecolonies making boating and anglingimpossible. Hydrilla has its “TyphoidMary,” tracing its origin in theU.S. to one aquarium dumped in aFlorida canal by one person. Thisirreversible action will have ecologicaland economic costs that will never goaway.Prevention is cheaper than the cure,to paraphrase the old adage. Just askhome owners near Lakes Bistineau,Caddo, or Conroe, who deal withgiant salvinia year after year. Anyonewho uses water for work or playshould understand the consequencesof their actions. Responsible usershelp protect our water and that whichlives in it, on it, or near it. FBob Pitman retired as a fishery biologistfrom the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in2010. Pitman exemplified a commitment toconservation, working on invasive speciesissues for over a decade. He’s headed toMontana, where he went to college years agoand minored in fisheries science and majoredin flyfishing.Cypress trees, up to their knees in giant salvinia, is a sign that fish and waterfowlhabitats are compromised. Restoring habitat will be no easy or inexpensive task.TexasParksandWildlifeDepartment
  20. 20. 20  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010Kenai’s Most UnwantedBy Jeffry Andersonswift-flowing Kenai River provideslittle northern pike habitat, severaltributary streams do. These tributarystreams and their associated lakesystems also hold important habitatfor juvenile salmon and trout, andnorthern pike threaten those nativefisheries.As is the case with virtually allaquatic invasive species, no easy fixexists once a northern pike populationbecomes established. However, theADFG management plan for invasivenorthern pike outlines ways to controltheir spread on the Kenai Peninsula.Rotenone, a natural plant substancethat is short-lived in the environment,kills fish by clogging their gills andis one tool used to control northernpike in lakes. But rotenone iscontroversial, and is used only inlandlocked lakes that have beenentirely taken over by northern pike.The Kenai River is a world-classfishery. It’s the primary destinationfor many visitors to Alaska who hopeto catch record-sized Chinook salmonand trout. Illegal northern pikeintroductions on the Kenai Peninsulathreaten multi-million dollar sportand commercial fisheries, as wellas important subsistence fisheries.These invasive northern pike wereillegally introduced into a lake on theKenai Peninsula in the 1970s, andhave since spread to 16 more lakesand two tributaries of the KenaiRiver.Northern pike catches on the KenaiPeninsula have increased dramaticallyin recent years, from only 36 in 1994to over 2,000 in 2004, according tothe Alaska Department of Fish andGame (ADFG) harvest surveys. TheADFG continues to receive reportsof sport-caught northern pike, evenfrom the Kenai River. Although theSamantha Oslund, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, caught this northern pike in Alexander Lake,near Anchorage, where the species was introduced in the 1950s.AdrianBaer/ADFGNorthern pike are revered as theultimate trophy fish. But wherethey have been illegally introducedin parts of Alaska, they are reviledfor the serious problems they causefor native fishes. Northern pike arenative to Alaska, north and west ofthe Alaska Range where they are animportant sport and subsistence fish.They are not native to southcentralAlaska’s Kenai Peninsula—and arevery much unwanted.This toothy predator co-evolved withsalmon and trout in much of its nativerange. But several lakes on the Kenaithat supported rainbow trout, DollyVarden, and migratory Pacific salmon,are now dominated by northernpike—the unintended consequence ofillegal stocking. It’s particularly badin habitats needed by juvenile troutand salmon—shallow, weedy, slow-moving waters—which happen to beprime northern pike habitat, too.
  21. 21. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationADFG biologists use netting andcontrol barriers on several lakes.Intensive netting reduces pikenumbers over the short term, butcatching all of the pike in a waterbody is nearly impossible.Water control structures on lakeoutlets can prohibit pike movementsfrom lakes into connecting streams,but the structures can also inhibitmigrations of native fishes. Controlbarriers are also expensive and canfail during high water flows, not tomention become impractical whenlakes are covered with ice.Controlling pike populations ormovements in rivers and streams isan even more daunting challenge. Sofar, research has not found a singlemanagement tool that can rid streamsof northern pike.However, the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService’s Kenai Fish and WildlifeField Office operates an underwatervideo system at a weir in theSoldotna Creek watershed, wherenorthern pike were first introducedon the Kenai Peninsula. Underwatervideo captured two northern pikeswimming through the weir sinceApril 2009, about 50 yards upstreamfrom Soldotna Creek’s juncture withthe Kenai River. Underwater videohas become a valuable outreachplatform. It’s used to help spreadthe word in the community and withvisiting anglers about the dangers ofinvasive pike on the peninsula, andthe threat that they pose to popularKenai River sport fisheries.Since controlling invasive northernpike is both difficult and expensive,the ADFG and the Kenai Fish andWildlife Field Office use publiceducation through newspaperarticles, posters, brochures, andpublic meetings. The ADFG websitefeatures a wealth of information,including an informative videoclip that shows pike preying uponrainbow trout.Illegal pike introductions on theKenai were probably done by peoplewho wanted to fish for pike but wereignorant of the consequences oftheir actions. Biologists hope thatan educated public—one that knowsthat introducing pike is both illegaland detrimental to native fishes—willstave the spread of northern pike onthe Kenai Peninsula. What’s reveredUnwanted: Northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula. Northern pike eat fish,and readily ingest young trout and salmon.USFWSelsewhere is reviled on the Kenai forgood reasons. FJeffry Anderson is a fishery biologist atthe Kenai Fish and Wildlife Field Office inSoldotna, Alaska.
  22. 22. 22  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010By John Bryan“Rock Snot” Poses Problemsfor Fisheries Conservation It’s spring 2006 as Dan Genest wadesknee-deep into Virginia’s SmithRiver clarity. His 5-weight rodthrows a blue-winged olive with apheasant tail dropper.“Dirty, wet toilet paper,” is howGenest, former president of FlyFishers of Virginia, now describeswhat he saw. “It was carpeting theriver.”It was Didymospenia geminate, akadidymo, aka rock snot—a freshwaterdiatom, an algae—that can thrivein coldwater shallows. It suddenlybegan to appear in the middle of thelast decade.In the fall of 2007, Bill Fletcher ofthe Lamar Fish Technology Center,received word that didymo was inVermont’s White River—next to theWhite River National Fish Hatchery.This was its first appearance in theNortheast, recalls Fletcher.Historically uncommon, the single-cell alga now known as didymorecently began blossoming as anapparent invasive species. Its 2004appearance in New Zealand spawnedglobal attention and communication.There are currently no methods foreradication.This wet wooly mass is a mat of single-celled diatomaceous algae, called didymo. It fouls fishing, and may create problems forfish habitat.MarkS.Hoddle/CenterofInvasiveSpeciesResearchUCR
  23. 23. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationGenest sees trout rising, but his dryfly stops its drift as the dropper snagson the carpet of toilet paper. It easilypulls loose, but Genest has to cleanit. After a dozen cast-and-cleanshe removes the dropper, and thenquickly catches a wild brown on thedry fly.A one-cell organism, didymo can bepresent even if it can’t be seen—and thus it’s currently impossibleto know whether new blooms arethe result of transferral or of newlyripe conditions. “There’s a bit of asmoking gun in that it’s showingup at popular international fishinglocations,” says Dr. Leslie Matthewsof the Vermont Agency of NaturalResources.An angler can wade in a U.S. streamand 17 hours later be wading in onein New Zealand. Didymo can survivetwo days when dry, and a month whendamp.The carpeting blocks Genest’s viewof the river bottom as his feet searchfor rocks and holes. “It would wraparound my feet and I couldn’t seerocks,” he remembers. “You could hita big rock and lose your balance.” Butthe wild browns keep hitting on top.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicebegan identifying probable vectorsfor spread, determining methodsfor stopping those pathways, andinitiating education efforts. “By thetime I showed up on the White Riverthere were little yellow warningsigns everywhere,” says Fletcher. Abrainstorming session among NewCalled “rock snot” in the vernacular, didymo has the appearance of wet toilet tissue.MarkS.Hoddle/CenterofInvasiveSpeciesResearchUCRThe icky algae, didymo, can cover a stream bottom in light layers or in thick masses.MarkS.Hoddle/CenterofInvasiveSpeciesResearchUCRZealand’s communications teamproduced the term “rock snot.” Theterm made its first public appearancein a quotation that the team attributedto Dr. Christina Vieglais, a frontlineleader in New Zealand’s scientificresponse to didymo. “I don’t likethe word and didn’t want to use it,”recalls Vieglais, now a biotechnologist
  24. 24. 24  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceofficials identified anglers andboaters as probable transfer agentsfor the spread of didymo. And theylearned that didymo needs moistureto survive. “The general messageis CHECK, CLEAN, AND DRY,”says Michael Goehle, an AquaticInvasive Species Coordinator forthe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inNew York. “Remove foreign materialfrom boats, trailers, and equipment.”Additional guidance includes washingall equipment—especially felt-soledwaders—in a cleaning solution suchas two-percent bleach.Genest’s day job is spokesperson forDominion—a large energy companythat puts a priority focus on theenvironment. “Dominion has lookedat its hydropower waterways and hasnot found didymo,” Genest reports.This includes Black Creek—a catch-and-release delayed-harvest streamthat runs through Dominion propertyassociated with the Bath CountyPump Storage Facility in Virginia.Didymo could potentially interferewith the water intake systems ofDominion and other organizations,resulting in costly repairs andredesign. Intake problems can also befatal—such as fouling a jet boat whilenegotiating hazardous rapids.Didymo near the White RiverNational Fish Hatchery that raisesAtlantic salmon caused the hatcheryto have to spend the money to switchfrom river water to well water. “Wedistribute salmon fry throughoutthe Connecticut River basin,” sayshatchery manager Ken Gillette,“and we don’t want to risk seedingdidymo.”Genest catches his seventh wildbrown—all of them healthy withno signs of ill effects from didymo.Later he will encounter didymo inTennessee’s South Holston Riverand in Virginia’s Jackson River—both with seemingly healthy fishpopulations.MarkS.Hoddle/CenterofInvasiveSpeciesResearchUCRNot particularly pleasing to look at, what the full impact the invasive algae mayhave on fisheries remains to be seen.with the USDA’s EnvironmentalRisk Analysis Programs. “It wasmisleading.” But the term grabbedattention and informed NewZealanders.Genest pulls a clump of didymofrom his boots. It looks slimy but itfeels like wet wool. His apprehensionabout touching it vanishes when itdoesn’t sting or abrade or prick.
  25. 25. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationIn spite of widely held presumptionsthat didymo “smothers” invertebratepopulations and therefore harmsfisheries, research has proven theopposite. “That’s what the predictionwas,” says Vieglais, “but our resultsproved otherwise and the fact thatthere has been no collapse of the NewZealand trout fishery since didymoarrived bears that out.”An active angler, writer, andenvironmental volunteer, Genestadmits, “It’s hard for most anglers toremember to clean their boots , andI’ve been guilty. It’s human naturenot to want to spread didymo, but ittakes a real conscientious effort.”“I try to deemphasize the idea ofknowing whether didymo is present,but promote spread-prevention,period,” says Matthews.Didymo’s primary detrimentalimpacts are focused on two areas:recreation and water intake. Bothmean money. New Zealand estimateda potential impact of $57 to $285million over 8 years. When there is aflushing flow, didymo dislodges andcan create a waterway that appearsto be full of sewage, uninviting torecreational users, and quite difficultfor anglers.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’sfocus on education is working, andone evidence is the widespreadsupport for procedures to ban felt-soled waders. “It shows that we’vecome a long way with our messagesA didymo-covered cobble is also habitat for aquatic insects. Insects are essential food for fishes.MarkS.Hoddle/CenterofInvasiveSpeciesResearchUCRCHECK, CLEAN, AND DRY,” … “Remove foreign materialfrom boats, trailers, and equipment.”to politicians and those who makedecisions,” says Goehle.“Let’s minimize potential spread untilwe know more,” says Matthews. “Itmay turn out not to be as much of anecological problem as we fear—ormaybe it will become a huge problemthat one day we’ll be able to address.”“Easily 100 different trout watersin 10 states,” is Genest’s anglingexperience. Education surroundingdidymo is convincing him and otherrecreational users that CHECK,CLEAN, and DRY is—no matter  how inconvenient—“just somethingwe do.” FJohn Bryan wrote “Cruising for AtlanticSturgeon” in Eddies, Spring 2010.He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
  26. 26. 26  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010By David Britton, Ph.D.An Ecological CancerZebra and quagga mussels arenotorious. They invade our waterslike an ecological cancer. Incipientpopulations of zebra and quaggamussels exhibit rapid, uncontrolledgrowth and tend to invade new,otherwise healthy areas. Theypermanently damage or destroythese systems. What’s worse, zebraand quagga mussels are spreadby contact. They are chronicallydebilitating, with the power to causepermanent, irreparable damage.Individual zebra and quagga musselsdo not appear formidable. They areonly about an inch or less long, withalternating dark and light stripes.In large numbers, however, they areunstoppable. When healthy, theyattach to hard surfaces and livein dense clusters where they gluethemselves to each other and otherhard surfaces using sticky threads.In this way they form enormouspopulations that can cover all hardsurfaces. Densities exceed 100,000mussels per square meter. Theyattach to rocks, dock pilings, beercans, bottles, logs, boat hulls andoutboards, ropes, anchors, turtles,crustaceans, clams, insects, shoppingcarts­—any hard surface submergedin water.This zebra mussel cluster was pulled from Lake Oologah, Oklahoma. The tiny but invasive mussel has steadily spread fromthe Great Lakes.DavidBritton/USFWSConservation in a Quagga-mireDealing with zebra and quagga musselinvasions
  27. 27. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationThe History of the ProblemIn the 1980s, transatlantic shipssupplied goods and grains to EasternEurope. These ships returned toNorth America carrying ballast watercontaminated with aquatic invaders.Some have argued that zebra andquagga mussels came attached toanchors and chains as well. Zebra andquagga mussels were unintentionallyreleased into the Great Lakessystem and discovered in 1988 and1989 respectively; although no onerecognized that these were actuallytwo different species until a year ortwo later. Zebra mussel populationsexploded, reaching a vast distributionin the Great Lakes by 1990. Theyspread through connected waterwayslike metastatic cancer, into theMississippi drainage, reaching St.Louis, Missouri by 1991 and NewOrleans, Louisiana by 1993.How they SpreadZebra mussels from the Great Lakesspread rapidly downstream. Anartificial connection between theGreat Lakes and the MississippiRiver drainages allowed for rapidrange expansion of these insidiousinvaders without delay after theiroriginal introduction. The ChicagoSanitary and Ship Canal, originallydesigned to move Chicago’s sewagewaste away from Lake Michigan,provided the same gateway for theGreat Lakes’ aquatic invaders intothe Mississippi system. Downstreamspread was inevitable. Mussel larvaeare suspended in the water, andtravel wherever the flow takes them.The infested Mississippi River thenserved as a conduit for zebra musselsto reach all areas connected vianavigable waterways. Adult zebramussels spread upstream to otherrivers attached to boats and barges.Since the 1980s, zebra mussels haveinvaded much of the eastern UnitedStates, including the Mississippi,Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, andArkansas rivers as well as the GreatLakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.Quagga mussels initially invadedNorth America at a slower pacethan zebra mussels. They remainedrestricted mostly within the GreatLakes until 2007, when quaggamussels were discovered in the lowerColorado River at Lake Mead. Itis likely that quagga mussels cameattached to a houseboat broughtfrom the Great Lakes. From there,they immediately spread followingthe flow of water. Just as a medicaltransfusion can spread disease-laden blood from one human body toanother, artificial diversions of waterfrom the Colorado River swiftlytransferred these virulent invaders tootherwise unreachable water bodiesand associated drainages in southernCalifornia and Arizona. Meanwhile,trailered boats have spread them,albeit more slowly, into more isolatedsystems. Quagga mussels have alsobeen detected in unconnected watersin Colorado and Utah.ImpactsThere areeconomic andecologic effectsfrom musselinvasions—andboth are negative.Anglers andothers whouse water forrecreation can tellyou that zebra andquagga musselsare a nuisance.They foul hulls,intakes, props,dock lines, andanything else submerged in water.They are known to clog cooling waterintakes in outboards and lower units,which can lead to permanent damageand costly repairs. Crappie andbass anglers in Oklahoma have theirmonofilament lines regularly cut bysharp mussels. Bait buckets becomeunrecognizable as such because ofa dense mussels encrustation. Afloating dock submerged in winterbecame unable to support the weightof snow on the roof combined withdense zebra mussel encrustationbelow.Zebra and quagga mussels are notjust a nuisance to those who useour waters for recreation. Theyare also problematic for industrialfacility operations that use rawwater to supply utilities for ourcommunities. Zebra and quaggamussels substantially reduce flow inlarge pipes and clog smaller diameterpipes in cooling and fire suppressionsystems in power plants. They clogscreens and pipes in water treatmentfacilities. Expensive routinemaintenance is needed to keep waterflowing. Authorities in the ColumbiaRiver basin have estimated thatQuagga mussels infest this piece of marine equipment, pulledfrom Lake Mead, Nevada.DavidBritton/USFWS
  28. 28. 28  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010costs to install chlorination systemsto keep mussels out of pipes couldbe as high as $2 million for someraw water sources. They estimatethat recurring operational costscould equal or exceed $100,000 peryear for a single facility. MSNBCreported that the MetropolitanWater District of Southern Californiaexpects to spend between $10-$15million in a single year to controlquagga mussels in their systems. Inthe Great Lakes area, congressionalresearchers have estimated that thepower industry spent over $3 billionto control zebra and quagga musselsbetween 1993-1999. Of course, suchcosts are passed on to you in yourutility bills. The combined economicimpact to industries, businesses, andcommunities may have exceeded $5billion during that six-year span.The economic costs are terrible, butthe ecologic costs may be worse.Zebra and quagga mussels filterwater for plankton to eat, and theyare especially good at it. Clear waterdoesn’t necessarily mean healthywater. Plankton is the base of theaquatic food web and nutrient-richwaters are naturally murky. Waterclarity increases dramaticallyfollowing a mussel invasion.Removing algae can have a cascadingeffect that impacts the entire foodweb from zooplankton to largetop-predator fishes. Over the lastdecade, water clarity has increasedprominently in Lake Michiganwhile populations of crustaceanspecies of the genus Diporeia havedecreased by over 95 percent.These crustaceans are part of thezooplankton that feed on algae. Theyare, in turn, fed upon by smaller fish,which are fed upon by larger fish.A dramatic reduction in algae haslikely driven a cascade leading to thereduced catch seen in commercial andrecreational fishing in Lake Michiganin recent years. In the West, thisis alarming because western watersupports many threatened andendangered fish species like thehumpback chub (see Eddies Summer2008) and razorback sucker thatmight not be able to withstand azebra or quagga mussel invasion.Following the introduction of zebraand quagga mussels, populations ofnative freshwater mussels in Lake St.Clair and the western basin of LakeErie have plummeted. It seems thatour native fauna may be unable tocompete. It’s a simple fact that oncezebra or quagga mussels invade asystem it will never be the same.QZAPThe Western Regional Panel onAquatic Nuisance Species createda Quagga-Zebra Mussel ActionPlan for Western U.S. Waters,recently approved by the federalAquatic Nuisance Species TaskForce. This plan, affectionatelycalled QZAP, identifies priorityactions to thwart the mussels’ spreadand control existing populations.Specific prevention strategiesinclude mandatory inspection anddecontamination at infested waters;continued development of effectivewatercraft and equipment inspectionand decontamination protocols andstandards; adoption of protocolsand standards in the western states;establishment and implementation ofstrong, consistent law enforcementprograms; and development of a risk-assessment model for water bodies.QZAP also provides strategies forearly detection and monitoring, rapidresponse, containment, and controlof existing populations, as well asoutreach and education. Many stateand federal agencies have alreadybegun implementing QZAP at alljurisdictional levels. The public canhelp by learning about zebra andquagga mussels (and other aquaticDavidBritton/USFWSAny hard surface, including marine equpiment, is potential habitat for invasivemussels. This piece of encrusted gear was pulled from Lake Oolagah, Oklahoma.
  29. 29. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries Conservationinvaders) and takethe simple stepsnecessary to preventunintentional spread.Stopping the SpreadNo cure exists forzebra or quaggamussels. Only twoeradication attemptshave been successful,one in Virginia and onein Nebraska, both inisolated small pondswhere mussels werepoisoned. This methodis not feasible in largersystems, flowingsystems, or in systemsused for drinkingwater. Those of uswho use waters thatcurrently have zebraor quagga musselswill have to get usedto them. Research hasfocused on controlling these mussels,to keep water flowing, rather thaneradicating them in open waters,which is a more daunting task.Preventing further spread is our besthope at the moment.Although we are essentiallypowerless to stop downstreamspread, we can prevent overlandspread on trailered boats. This modeis much slower and quite preventable.Boaters should know that zebra andquagga mussels could survive severaldays out of water if conditions arehumid and cool. As predicted bylaboratory studies, we now knowthat they can survive long enoughin air to travel from one of the GreatLakes to Lake Mead, a distance ofapproximately 1,800 miles. Boatersshould always clean their equipmentthoroughly, drain all standing water,and dry everything before movingto other waters. If boats are keptin infested waters, they should beQuagga mussels encrust a penstock gate at Davis Dam on Lake Mohave, Arizona.BureauofReclamationprofessionally cleaned with 140°F,high-pressure water before transport.Remember, zebra and quaggamussels are an ecological disease.Most of us understand theimportance of personal health andhygiene. We accept the necessity tobathe. We wash our hands, brushour teeth, and maybe even flosson occasion. When it comes to ourown bodies we are careful not to letdisease find an easy way in. This iscommon sense. As you go about yourbusiness, keep in mind that waterbodies, like human bodies, are alsovulnerable to invasion. They can behealthy or diseased. And like manynasty human diseases, currently wehave no cure for zebra and quaggamussels. FDavid Britton, Ph.D., an Aquatic InvasiveSpecies Coordinator for the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service, works in Arlington, Texas.
  30. 30. 30  Eddies Summer/Fall 2010no summer camp for such a thing inthose days.But there was Big Pine Key’sSeaCamp. I was interested in sciencefrom an early age, but it was whilesnorkeling in Looe Key when I wasjust 11 or 12 that I saw living coralreefs as big as a house and thousandsof years old. A seven-foot-long tarponhovered near me before vanishing ina brilliant silver flash. I skimmed thesurface of the shallow Evergladeson an airboat, and marveled thatthere were thousands of tiny animalsbeneath my bare feet as I walked thebeach. I was hooked. From then on, itwas always aquatic science for me.Then, there was a birthday gift. Mymother wrote to Marjory StonemanDouglas about her budding biologistson. Soon after, I received anautographed first edition of herRiver of Grass, the lightning rodfor south Florida conservation.Then, in high school, a bus tour ofthe Everglades and a conversationabout environmental outreach withthe nice person next to me provedserendipitous. Two years later, sheturned out to be on the acceptancecommittee for the University ofMiami, where I studied marinebiology.The river of life courses in unusualways.So it was that I found myself, yearslater, back in Florida with the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service’s FisheriesProgram, a biologist in the Branchof Aquatic Invasive Species. TheDepartment of the Interior recentlyproposed to list large constrictorsnakes as “injurious.” Constrictorsthreaten the native species inthe Everglades. The importationand interstate transport of theseanimals are significant, and highlycontroversial given the way thesesnakes have made their way into thewild. The Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission organizesperiodic search parties like the oneI am on to follow the spread of thesnakes. But doing so is not easy.Burmese pythons have existed inthe Everglades for some time, but itwas unclear whether African pythonsalso live here. Large constrictors aremasters of camouflage; it’s possible tobe within four feet of one and still notsee it. I leapt at the chance to searchfor them.The cold January weather works inour favor, as the snakes are moresluggish. The area we search isn’tthe typical Everglades, with its deepmud and airboats. Instead, we searcha site adjacent to development,much of which has been drainedand is now drier terrain. As partof the Everglades CooperativeInvasive Species ManagementArea collaboration, we work withthe Miccosukee Tribe of Indians ofFlorida. They allow the surveys ontheir land, and they also participate.We organize into several teams. Myfirst shift was driving a labyrinthineroute very slowly to search for snakesalong the roads and houses. SouthMeandersThe River of Life Courses inUnusual WaysBy Jason GoldbergI’m home again in Florida,visiting from my Washington DCoffice. It’s a surprisingly coldJanuary day in the Everglades.Larry Perez, a biologist withEverglades National Park, leadsus into the woods to search forAfrican pythons. The terrain isvery dense woodland, not reallymeant for navigation by Homosapiens. As a wetlands ecologist,the thick foliage confounds myattempts to move through it. Iwonder, “Where’s a good muddymarsh when you need one?”Still, Perez skillfully finds eventhe narrowest of paths. I crawlon my belly under a fallen tree,wallowing in cold mud and leaves,and fervently hope that I don’tencounter a constrictor snake inthis precarious position. Whenmy head hits a tree branch forthe fourth time, I wonder how Icame to be here.Oh yes, I remember. It’s all myparents’ fault.Like most residents, I’m nota native Floridian. We movedfrom New York when I was six,but with all of its eccentricities,Florida is home. The heatand humidity melded into myblood. My parents supportedme and my siblings in whateverendeavors we pursued as wegrew up: horseback riding, piano.My girlfriend wishes I’d takendancing lessons. I suspect myparents secretly wanted me to gointo the tech world, but there was
  31. 31. Vol. 3, No. 2 Reflections on Fisheries ConservationFlorida’s quirks quickly emerge.Coming so soon after the holidays,we look for snakes wrapped aroundweary Santa Claus lawn ornamentsor hiding under old Christmas treeswaiting to be mulched. Ironically,we motor down Marjory StonemanDouglas Drive. We annoy driverswho don’t care much for our 10-mphspeed. We also annoy a gooseanxiously guarding a flock of Muscovyducks (yet another invasive) in themiddle of the road. We stop to talkwith landscapers and post officeworkers, people who work outsideand might spot snakes. Our searchyields nothing, but the other teamshave recovered a few snakes. Evenfinding four, given their fantasticability to camouflage, is cause forconcern—they have been spreading.South Florida is a land of nonnativespecies, and the signs are everywherethat snakes and Muscovy aren’tthe only problem threatening thelandscape. Acres and acres of deadmelaleuca (an invasive tree) line theroads, their papery bark still flakingin sheets. It looks like a fire explodedin the area, the result of herbicidespraying to control the melaleuca.Though they look less threatening,invasive plants pose an even biggerproblem for the Everglades bychanging habitats native speciesneed.My next tour is with the fieldcrews. Given the small area of oursearch, it’s surprisingly diverse:farmland, forests, streams, oldroads, and drainages. Here too,Florida’s eccentricities appear.We explore a decayed shack, nowhome to a massive wasp nest. Halfof a truck still hitched to a brokenboat sits nearby, and countless beerbottles litter the ground. Cubanrevolutionaries used to plot here,rumors say. One of my teammates,who already reminded me of IndianaJones (sans bullwhip), proves hisspirit when he tangles with twoconstrictors. Each is at least ten feetlong and escapes into the grounddespite the firm grip he had ontheir tails. He leaves the encounterunsuccessful, but unharmed.I can identify and survey withpixel-point accuracy a point in awetland that corresponds preciselywith remotely sensed data. So, I’mconcerned about my reputation whenI lose my group barely twenty yardsfrom the road. Breaking througha bad patch of thorns and onlyslightly scarred for the experience,I rejoin my team. One of them, alaw enforcement officer, beckonsme. A short distance from the road,just inside the stand of trees, is aglass chicken, a totem of a humanface composed of seashells, incense,and other objects I can’t quiteidentify. These remains of a religiousceremony were intended to discardbad luck. If only it were as easy tofind and eradicate invasive organisms.We’re back in the forest, near a standof Brazilian pepper (yet anotherinvasive tree), when I finally twistmy way free from under the tree.Another of my teammates has madea new discovery. The cold weatheraffects all reptiles in the area, and shehas found a near-comatose nonnativebrown basilisk lizard. It hangs upsidedown in a tree by just one claw, itsginger belly visible. She collects iteasily.I didn’t find any snakes during mypart of the survey but the teamfound enough to confirm thatconstrictors are spreading throughthe Everglades. It’s just onemore problem we must address toconserve the “river of grass.”With my teammates, I discoverthat we had a mutual and ironicadmiration for these snakeswe were tracking down. Youcan’t help but admire andrespect pythons. Aside fromthe natural beauty and jeweledquality of their bodies, they aremarvelously efficient survivalists,singular in mind and purpose.And this is really ironic: manyof the people on the surveyowned constrictors, but theyrecognized that the big snakesdon’t belong in Florida’s wildhabitats. The trackers camefrom different backgrounds,but all shared a commitment toconservation. Invasive speciesare one of the top threatsfacing ecosystems, costing thiscountry an estimated $120 billionannually in environmental andeconomic harm. It’s difficult andcontroversial, but I’m confidentwe can solve problems withinvasive species, and restorehabitats.It’s in that effort where I takereal pride and meaning in mywork. Someday, maybe evenyesterday, someone just saw abig fish for the first time, or someother spectacle of nature, anddecided that they also will make adifference. FJason Goldberg is a Fish and WildlifeBiologist with the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService at its headquarters inArlington, Virginia.
  32. 32. EddiesReflections on Fisheries ConservationU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service– FisheriesMS ARLSQ 7204401 North Fairfax DriveArlington, VA 22203 STANDARD PRESORT POSTAGE AND FEESPAIDU.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PERMIT G-77U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicehttp://www.fws.gov/eddiesSummer/Fall 2010CONSERVINGCONSERVINGU.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceU.S. Fish & Wildlife ServiceGlobalization over the past forty years has changed theworld. It has manifested in the invasive species that confoundconservation. Moving people and goods around the worldhas moved unwanted organisms to where they don’t belong.Regulations to prevent such spread don’t always work. TheU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to encourage voluntarycitizen-conservation through social marketing, partneringwith business, industry, and conservation groups to empowertargeted citizens to adopt conservation-friendly behaviors.The public faces of these partnerships are the national StopAquatic Hitchhikers!®and Habitattitude™ campaigns. Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! targets people who recreate on thewater and encourages them to prevent the spread of invasivespecies by cleaning their equipment every time they leave thewater. To date, 930 organizations communicate the message,generating a brand that bespeaks responsible use of fisheries.Marketing Social ChangeHabitattitude targets pet owners and water gardeners,encouraging consumers to prevent the spread of invasive species.It established a cooperative relationship with the pet industry,and substantial financial support from the industry helps tocommunicate the conservation message. FJoe Starinchak