Monday, July 09, 2007

Didymo Doom

The Burlington Free Press is reporting that the algae Didymosphenia geminata, commonly known as Didymo or "rock snot," has been discovered in the Connecticut River in Vermont. A fishing guide apparently spotted the stuff growing on rocks and reported it to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

This is the first known record of Didymo in the Northeastern USA, though the algae has been sighted repeatedly over the past few years in the Southeastern USA (Tennessee, for example). As folks in New Zealand will tell you, this is bad news for the Connecticut River! There is no known way of getting rid of Didymo, so Vermont is instead focusing on controlling its spread. Fisherman and anyone else using the Connecticut River is being asked to follow New Zealand's protocol for decontaminating gear and clothing, especially if they are near infested sites (for now, just Bloomfield, Vermont). Unfortunately, even the tiniest little piece of Didymo clinging to a pair of waders can go on to form large mats when introduced to a new location.

Thanks to Lynn M. for sending in a link to the story, and bonus points to the Burlington Free Press for using Didymo's scientific name!


Patrick B. said...

I love what I learn from your blog, but I also hate it. :( That stuff seems pretty nasty.

wayn3w said...

Me too, but at least I learned a new name to call my pesky brother: didymo!

I'll tell him to search your blog for the definition.

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Ooo...I think I need to start calling *my* brother "rock snot" :-).