Contact: Hillary R. Mosher
Organization: Finger Lakes - Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management
Telephone Number: (315) 781-4385
October 20, 2016
Hydrilla Verticillata Confirmed in Tioga County
Hydrilla verticillata, a highly invasive aquatic plant, has recently been confirmed in a small, damned pond off the Little Nanticoke Creek in Owego, NY. The plant is characterized by its ability to dominate a waterbody and alter the physical and chemical features. The plant blocks sunlight due to the growth of thick mats which displaces native vegetation (nyis.info). The Finger Lakes region has just four other confirmed sightings of Hydrilla- the first is located in an isolated pond in Broome County, two managed populations occur in Cayuga Lake (Tompkins County and Cayuga County) and finally, a managed infestation is located in a small pond in Monroe County. Native to Korea, Hydrilla can be found invading freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and canals. It has pointed, bright green leaves that grow in a whorl along the stem. Typically in New York, there are five leaves per whorl. The margins of the leaf are serrated and at the base of the stem is a small, potato-like tuber which grows in the sediment. The tubers allow Hydrilla to overwinter in our NY climate. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, Hydrilla is common in the upper Chesapeake Bay and most freshwater tributaries, although this is the first observation in the Upper Susquehanna watershed in NY. The infestation in Owego, NY is located ½ mile north of the Susquehanna River where Hydrilla has great potential to spread to downstream. Further survey is needed in this area. FL-PRISM and partners are working together to develop a rapid response implementation plan for control, outreach, and coordination of this newly discovered infestation in an important watershed. Help #StoptheInvasion! Volunteers are asked to DOCUMENT any suspicious invasive by taking multiple pictures and marking the area with GPS points. REPORT your finding to FLPRISM@gmail.com or in iMapInvasives. STOP THE SPREAD by knowing what to look for. Check out the fingerlakesinvasives.org website or http://nyis.info for more information on this organism or other invasives.