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The Beginning of an Invasion
While busy combating one invasive species, Eurasian watermilfoil, a new invasive species, hydrilla, has been found in New York.

At least three mats of hydrilla have been located, which Bob Johnson, retired Cornell University biology professor says can grow up to a foot a day, creating dense mats from bottom to surface in water up to 25 feet deep. Hydrilla fragments can easily be transported by boats and boat trailers which can sprout roots and establish new populations.

To prevent the spread of hydrilla or introduction of other non-native species, users of the Cayuga Inlet are urged to remove any plants, mud or debris from boats or equipment that came in contact with water, drain any water from boats before leaving the launch area, and clean and dry anything that came in contact with water, including, boats, trailers, gear, clothing, pets.

Hydrilla is believed to have been introduced to the United when someone dumped an aquarium in a Florida waterway in the 1950’s. It has since spread throughout much of the Eastern United States, from Florida to Maine, and into a number of Western states. It is the first time it has been found in the Finger Lakes.

 
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Mowing Eurasian Watermilfoil - Once established, it can be managed but not eradicated. It has spread to almost every state in the US, where it grows into thick mats that can make lakes impenetrable for boats and swimmers. It can make it impossible for native plants to grow, affecting fish and wildlife. Yup, it’s Eurasian watermilfoil.


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