Friday, May 8, 2009

Alert! !

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) stream biologists have discovered the invasive algae Didymo in the Lower Mountain Fork River (LMFR) in Beavers Bend Park in Oklahoma. Didymo can be very destructive to river vegetation and insect populations, thus significantly affecting fish populations. The concern is that fishermen could unwittingly transport Didymo from the LMFR to the Guadalupe (or any other rivers), so I want to alert our members about this risk and inform them on what they can do to prevent transmission of Didymo.

A little background - Didymo (commonly called "rock snot", it appears as a whitish gray blob similar to wet toilet paper) is an algae that attaches to stream rocks and can completely cover the river bottom, thus suffocating vegetation and bugs. Obviously this can be detrimental to trout populations. It was probably transported to the LMFR by way of felt wading boots, gravel guards, wading staffs or any other devices that it could stay alive on while being transported from one stream to another. It has been in some rivers in Arkansas for at least a year. The main concern at this point is that we do not transport Didymo to non affected rivers such as the Guadalupe, the Blue River in Oklahoma, or any other rivers our members fish. What our members can do is thoroughly clean all their equipment immediately after returning from a trip to the LMFR. Further information on Didymo and what can be done to prevent spreading it can be found at the following site.

ODWC has requested that we please not try to contact them directly. Please ask anyone with questions to call or email me. As additional information becomes available I will pass it on to you.

Thanks Bill,

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