The Appalachian Ohio Weed Control Partnership along with Southern Indian Cooperative Invasives Management (http://www.sicim.info) and River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area (http://www.rtrcwma.org) have continued working together to address invasive plant issues along the Ohio River. Our partnership, Central Hardwoods Invasive Plant Network (CHIP-N) has partnered with the Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership and Wildlife Forever to install a billboard in Southern Ohio. We’ve had our billboard up along US 52 between Ashland, KY and Southpoint, OH for over a month. We should get anywhere from 800k-900k views over this time frame. Hopefully efforts like this help people realize the importance of cleaning boating gear before traveling to another body of water.
AOWCP celebrates its first birthday with technical meeting to facilitate management of hydrilla on the Ohio River
The AOWCP turned 1 year old last Wednesday June 26th. To celebrate, we thought we’d discuss the management of hydrilla on the Ohio River. We had several great speakers and many great participants, both in person and over the Internet and phone. I’m providing links to some of the powerpoints presented. However, not all are available currently because they contain unpublished data. I will post them later after the papers are published. Thank you for understanding.
Introduction – Eric Boyda, AOWCP
Ohio River Hydrilla – Dr. Michael Netherland, US Army ERDC
EPRI ORBFHP Hydrilla Workshop – Dr. Doug Dixon, EPRI
Tools for Early Detection, Hydrilla Workshop, June 2013 – Kate Howe, MIPN
Phenology updates: bush honeysuckle, Japanese stiltgrass, hairy jointgrass, hydrilla, orange daylily, and bohemian knotweed
Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)– fruiting, green berrys
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) – has germinated and is anywhere from 1 to 6 inches tall. This link might help ID it http://www.nps.gov/Plants/alien/fact/mivi1.htm
Hairy jointgrass (Arthraxon hispidus) – germinated, around 1-4 inches tall. Here is a link to help identify it http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/arahi.htmHydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) – has emerged
Orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) – flowerbuds forming
Bohemian knotweed (Polygonum x bohemica) – Hybrid between japanese knotweed and giant knotweed.
Have you been noticing the dense thick mats of vegetation growing along the Ohio River? You probably have fouled your motor boat prop while boating through it or noticed your favorite fishing spot being overrun. If given the opportunity, hydrilla will overrun almost any body of water.
Thought to be native to India and Korea, hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) was first introduced to the U. S. in the 1950s for use in aquariums. Some of the hydrilla spread can be attributed to aquarium hobbyists discarding unwanted aquarium systems into natural water bodies. However, hydrilla is mostly spread by vegetation fragments that get caught in boats and boating equipment. Since the 1950s, hydrilla has spread throughout much of the United States where it is confined to slow-moving, freshwater bodies, such as the Ohio River and the Florida Everglades.
Hydrilla affects the ecosystem by altering water chemistry, which can lead to large fish-killing events. It requires less sunlight to produce food, giving it a competitive advantage over native vegetation; in addition, it grows in a dense mat that shades-out other submersed plant species. Hydrilla reduces water flow by clogging irrigation and flood-control canals and culverts; and has become a major obstacle in hydroelectric generation. Economic costs of hydrilla are estimated in the millions due to lost recreational opportunities, and maintenance costs associated with irrigation and hydroelectric works.
To identify hydrilla, look for submersed plants forming dense mats at the surface of the water. Leaves are small, green, slightly translucent, and often have saw-like edges. The mid veins of the leaves are often tinged red and have sharp teeth. Leaves are attached to the stem in whorls of 4-8, but predominately 5. Vegetation near the surface has a pipe cleaner like appearance that is approximately one inch in diameter. If the plant is dug up, a small potato like tuber can be found under the mud.
Because colonies often start near boat ramps, it is important to prevent the transportation of this nuisance species and clean all recreational equipment. When you leave a body of water:
- Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting equipment
- Eliminate water from all equipment before transporting (motor, livewell, baitbucket, boots, and waders)
- Clean and dry anything that came in contact with water (boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs, etc) with hot water that is at least 104 degrees (for dogs, use as warm of water as possible and brush its coat) or a high pressure sprayer. If possible, allow to dry for 5 days before moving to a new body of water.
- Never release plants, fish, or animals into a body of water unless they came out of that body of water.
More information about hydrilla can be found at:
University of Florida’s Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/183
Washington State Department of Ecology: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/weeds/hydrilla.html
To report any inland populations of hydrilla not on the Ohio River or to have any additional questions answered, contact Eric Boyda at email@example.com or 740-534-6578.
It is important that we clean our boating equipment to prevent the spread of invasives like hydrilla.