Clean Angling News
 March 2014 Issue
Slowly Making Progress
     
 There is no doubt that the invasive species problem is gaining lots of attention. A few years ago, invasive species stories were considered to be a local news item and the focus of the news was always on a single species that caused a localized problem. It has been remarkable how fast the media attention to the problem has grown. Today we find stories about invasives in all sorts of places in ever increasing numbers.

      Accurate measurements of the change in awareness about invasives is very difficult to obtain. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that awareness is increasing but it is often hard to accurately gauge just how effective our outreach has been. In March I found a couple of articles that provide some measurable information about how things are changing.

       Michigan State University conducted a survey of tourism professionals in the state.
The survey provided respondents with a list of thirteen issues and asked them to pick the three-five that they considered most critical. The results were quite surprising with "Spread of Invasive Species" ranking as the number 1 threat. Invasives were named by 65.2% of respondents, far ahead of any other problem. When 65% of tourism professionals name invasives as their top concern there is no doubt that awareness is growing!  Michigan Tourism Officials cite invasives as top threat

      A new report from Wisconsin shows that boaters are getting educated, unfortunately, there is still a long way to go. The Wisconsin DNR reports that in 2013 the number of AIS violations by boaters dropped 11% from the year before. About 123,000 boat inspections were conducted in 2013 and boats in violation dropped from 31% to 20%. While this 50% drop in one year is a great sign of success the fact that 20% are still in violation shows that there is still work to do.  Wisconsin reports steep decline in AIS violations

Unrecognized Invaders?
     
 
Asian carp, Burmese pythons and zebra mussels are all widely known as invaders but there are also invaders that we just don't think about as invasive species.

       Most people think of eastern grey squirrels as the cute animals that populate our urban and wild forests. However, they are actually considered to be one of the 100 worst invaders in the world. They are widespread in Great Britain, advancing into Italy and have a toe hold n South Africa. Now they are invading British Columbia and conservationists are very concerned. Eastern grey squirrels invade BC

     While wild parakeets are a rarity in most parts of North America,  various species of these colorful birds are established in a number of urban areas and the number of populations is growing. Unfortunately, they have proven to be quite successful in Great Britain where new research shows that they can have a significant negative impact on native birds.  Wild parakeets force out native birds

Previously Posted On Facebook   
     We review news stories on a daily basis and post stories of interest on Facebook as we find them. However, we know that many of you are not using Facebook so here are the links we posted during October on our Facebook pages.

******* A reminder to those who follow us on Facebook: Facebook has begun to limit the number of people who receive our posts. Even if you have liked our Facebook page you may not be getting our posts in your news feed.The only way to make sure you are seeing our posts is to visit our page to see all of the content we publish.   

     Our  Clean Angling Facebook page is where we post links that deal with fish, fishing, cleaning, boat inspections, and other issues of interest to anglers. 

Montana researchers are experimenting to see if they can find that cause of the annual didymo blooms on the Kootenai River

Figuring out how to ensure that any internal ballast water in a boat is free of invasives has been a real problem. Now there is a new filter technology available

Grizzly bear researchers are pushing for continuation of the effort to remove lake trout from Yellowstone Lake to restore the runs of spawning cutthroats

Nevada is alerting boaters that they will aggressively enforce their invasive species sticker program - wardens are instructed to write $100 tickets to anyone without a sticker.

If you are concerned about the problem of invasive forest pest insects be sure to check out our new Facebook page where we use fly tying to teach about invasives

On our Invasive Species Action Network Facebook page we post all types of invasive species news including stories about all types of invaders, policy issues and other items of interest.

There is a new online petition calling for California Governor Jerry Brown to ban the sale of bullfrogs in the state

Remember the little bright green turtles that used to be a pet store staple? These once popular pets are actually one of the world's worst invaders

When do we accept that invaders are so well established that there is no way to ever remove them? 

A new research project in SW Wyoming shows that the spread of invasive plants is highly correlated with human activity

An undergraduate study in Wisconsin has a surprising finding - property values go up when a lake has zebra mussels!

Grizzly bear researchers are pushing for continuation of the effort to remove invasive lake trout from Yellowstone Lake to restore the runs of spawning cutthroats

Researchers in Australia believe that the herpes virus may be a useful tool for controlling carp populations. However, more testing is needed

If Climate Change May Sink These Islands Anyway, Should We Save Their Biodiversity? 

The end of escargot? French officials are very concerned about their snail populations following the introduction of the invasive New Guinea flatworm - a vicious snail predator

Researchers in Belfast, Ireland have developed a promising new method of gauging the potential ecological impacts of an invasive species

Help Invasive Species Action Network every time you shop:

Our Forest Pest Fly Tying Project Facebook page provides information for anyone concerned about the spread of forest pest insects. Visit the page and join the conversation about the problem and our unique fly tying program.

Let's keep the Emerald Ash Borer out of the West. in Pennsylvania the pest has killed millions of trees and has spread from 28 counties in 2012 to 47 counties today!

New York City is removing more than 2,000 trees to slow an emerald ash borer invasion. This dangerous pest has been found in Boulder, CO but is not found in most western states.

Keep kids (and trees) from turning into logs! Organize an ALB Hunt and get em' outside this spring:

 Help Invasive Species Action Network every time you shop:

Help Invasive Species Action Network every time you shop:

March 2014

   I have been involved with invasive species for many years which gives me a longer perspective than many.. Prior to the discovery of whirling disease in the mid 1990's few if any anglers were aware of what an invader was. Even with the huge publicity for whirling disease few associated it with being an invader.

    As recently as 2007, there was not much of a western response to the threat. Only a couple of western states had serious programs and the public was largely unaware of the issue. Fast forward to today and the change in awareness is remarkable. I discuss a couple of recent studies that shed light on this increased awareness but all you have to do is open a magazine, read a news paper or watch television to become aware that invasives are a real threat.

     It is very gratifying for me to see this increase in attention and gives me great hope that we may find better ways of minimizing the problem in the future. However, I would like to offer two observations.

      Progress takes time - its unreasonable for any of us to think that any entity can instantly gear up to manage an invasive problem. It takes time to develop a proper response and along the way there may be mistakes or other set backs. However, when you measure the progress over time we are doing great. 

     Awareness is not enough - although it all begins with a public that knows of the invasive threat, the real solutions to the spread of invasives is to change behavior. We need to teach people what to do - not just to be aware. If you ever have the opportunity be sure to include actions into any outreach program you undertake.

     At ISAN we get more questions about felt bans than just about anything else and our Status of US Felt Restrictions page is where we track every felt ban or proposal that we know of. This page is updated every time we get new information.

   I hope you will get in touch with me if you have questions or invasive species stories to share.

Bob Wiltshire
Executive Director ISAN

   The Clean Angling News is published monthly by the Invasive Species Action Network.  Please send comments, questions and complaints to newsletter@stopans.org.

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