Remote Monitoring for Invasive Species at Boat Ramps

MonitorWe came across a very cool idea this week.  A Midwest company has invented a remote monitoring system with signage for boat ramps.  Most aquatic species are spread from lake to lake by boat trailers.  While many states have laws prohibiting the transport of these plants and animals, boaters still move these plants around.  The inventor of this system indicates that he decided to develop this technology when he viewed a boat covered with Eurasian Milfoil about to launch at a ramp on his lake.  While he mentioned it to the person, they went ahead anyway. 

This new system  is a hardened video capture devise that remotely monitors access ramps.  Signage is also present that indicates these systems are in place and notes the fines that may be brought against those that break these laws.  Many lake associations place wash stations at ramps, but these are seldom used.  The manufacture of this system indicates that the combination of signage and the monitoring cameras act like a highway patrolman on the side of the road, people go out of their way to insure they are complying with the law.  The system is also very effective in identifying violators.

These systems can be installed within one mile of a WiFi access site where the contents can be viewed over the Internet, or they can be set up with a remote pick up of data to review. 

These systems should play a major roll in the prevention of spread of these invasive species and help catch those that break these laws. 

As the manufacturer ramps up production, we are working with them become a dealer for these systems.  For more information contact tmcnabb@aquatechnex.com and view the web site at: http://www.environmentalsentry.com/

State of Maine Publishes Excellent Aquatic Weed Id Book

Kathy Hamel with the Washington Department of Ecology forwarded this link and a recommendation to look this publication over.  This is one of the better aquatic plant id manuals I have seen over the years.  It has a good key and excellent pictures and descriptions of plants.  To view this document click on the link below.  We will also be putting this on our publication page to the right if you want to come back and look some time in the future. 

http://www.mainevolunteerlakemonitors.org/mciap/FieldGuide.pdf

Aquatic Plant Management Society Meeting this coming week

Nashville will play host to the national APMS meeting this coming Sunday through Wednesday.  This meeting is always a key in our industry.   I was the president of the organization in 1996 and responsible for the program in 1995.  I appreciate the hard work the group put into getting this year’s efforts organized. 

This year there is a record attendance by students giving research papers and posters and it should be a very interesting time.  To view the program go to www.apms.org.  You should also check back there in a bit to get abstracts of interesting papers if you are not able to attend. 

Is this the year West Nile comes home to roost?

In the western US where we do most of our work, this issue has been on the back burner.  In the Boise, Idaho area last summer, West Nile showed up while we were attacking the milfoil problem in some area lakes.  Only one state in the Union had more fatalities from this disease by the end of the year.  In the Seattle area, WN has started to show up in dead birds.

While we are heavily involved in the management of aquatic weed growth for a number of reasons, lets not forget that dense weed growth in a pond or lake is ideal habitat for mosquito larva.  Over the history of this disease, the first year or so are the most critical as much of the population gets exposed and does not develop symptoms.  After that they are immune.  The first years this pest is present is when you need to be the most vigilant. 

When you are thinking about your pond or lake, think about habitat for mosquito larva.  This pest spends most of its life underwater and needs stagnent conditions to thrive.  Controlling aquatic plants opens up the water and exposes the larva to predation.  There are also a number of biological larvacides that are very effective.  If you have questions, give us a ring.  For more information on West Nile go to:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/surv%26control.htm