Rock Snot (aka Didymo)

Didymo: picture from WV DNR website (click pic to go to the Didymo (Rock Snot) Fact Sheet)

Didymo: picture from WV DNR website (click pic to go to the Didymo (Rock Snot) Fact Sheet)

Sometimes it can be too easy to ignore things when they are not so close to home. Didymo is one of those things – I’ve never seen it in the streams that I fish…yet.

Well didymo is in the news again – it is showing up in more and more places. I came across several articles recently confirming it’s presence in yet more streams.

A fourth West Virginia Stream is Confirmed to have Didymo.

Invasive Algae Didymo Confirmed in Seneca Creek

The invasive algae known as Didymo has been found in Seneca Creek near its confluence with Whites Run, according to Mike Shingleton, Assistant Chief, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Section. An angler fishing in Seneca Creek had earlier sent DNR a picture of what he believed was Didymo. DNR personnel investigated the Didymo report and collected samples from Seneca Creek. Whites Run was also inspected in its lower reaches, but nothing resembling Didymo was observed. The Seneca Creek samples were sent to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for confirmation. All samples contained Didymo.

In 2008, Didymo’s presence was confirmed from Elk River, Gandy Creek, and Glady Fork.
Read the whole story at the West Virgina DNR Website

Also Didymo was recently confirmed in the Esopus in New York State. Previously, didymo had been confirmed in the Batten Kill and in the East and West branches of the Delaware River.

DEC Confirms Presence Of Didymo In Esopus Creek
Aquatic Algae Discovered in Popular Recreational Waterway

Monday, April 27, 2009: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that didymo, an invasive species, has been confirmed in the Esopus Creek in Ulster County.

This is the first known presence of this aquatic algae, also called “rock snot,” in the Esopus and the third confirmed location in New York State…

DEC collected samples and confirmed the presence of didymo in the vicinity of several public access sites along a 12-mile stretch of the Esopus from the “Shandaken Portal” (which transfers water to the Esopus from Schoharie Reservoir) to New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir.
Read the whole story at the NY DEC Website

I guess the message is to assume that Didymo can be anywhere and to take the necessary precautions. What can the conscientious angler do?

The basic precautions consist of washing , disinfecting and drying all equipment.  Including waders and wading shoes.  Consider replacing any felt soled waders with the new “sticky” rubber soled (and cleated if you’d like) wading shoes or waders.  I have a pair of Aquastealth rubber soled (with cleats) wading boots from L.L.Bean and they work perfectly – no slipping.

Rather than re-listing all the precautions needed to reduce the spread of Didymo in this post I’ll direct you to a  good resource that has all the info you’ll need.

Also for some more complete info on Didymo check out the USDA link below – there are links from this site to many other places to get info.

what say you?