Invasive Exotic Nuisances [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Invasive Exotic Nuisances

06-05-2003, 12:00 PM
This is a carry-over thread. Invasive Exotic plant and animal species have long since become problems. I mentioned Eurasian Milfoil in a earlier thread and was asked to gather 'data'; see accompanying information.


Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an exotic aquatic plant that rapidly invades shoreline areas by forming dense mats across the surface of the water and can grow into fairly deep water. The plant is suspected to have been an accidental releaase from the aquarium trade and was first detected in Washington, D.C. in 1942. By 1950, it was found in Arizona, California, and Ohio. Eurasian watermilfoil is currently reported from 175 Indiana lakes and reservoirs (compared to 75 in Minnesota and 190 in Wisconsin). This nonnative milfoil crowds out desirable native vegetation, provides no desirable food for waterfowl or wildlife, and makes waterways unsuitable for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Traditional control methods may be less effective than biological control for this particular plant. Mechanical harvesting actually spreads milfoil, because the plant reproduces through fragmentation. Herbicides that are effective against milfoil are also very expensive and may have secondary effects on other plants or animals in the water. Control by either method is usually temporary due to repeated introduction of the plant via fragments transported by boat trailers from infected lakes.

[Helpful info sites:] factsheet/eurasian_milfoil.doc factsheet/varible_milfoil.doc index.cfm?ID=286&NAV=373

As you can clearly see by inclusion of the several states’ information listed above, exotic invasive plants (and animals) are everyone’s responsibility to understand, requiring education and energies to help avoid further expansion of their ‘foothold.’ Although the lake I spend time on is now clear and free of milfoil, I, as well as many other residents of this body of water, fear it is only a matter of time before our lake is affected by milfoil or some other insidious exotic, directly relative to states’ mandates to provide “public access.” Unfortunately, “public access” does not mandate public “consideration” of these types of concerns.

John Desjardins
06-05-2003, 12:17 PM
Dave, Thank you for the information. Your last paragraph sums up my feelings on the topic pretty well. We all have to be aware of the impact of the actions we take.