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Lake group reports two new problems ADVERTISEMENT

Lake group reports two new problems

KEUKA LAKE (7/13/16)--Keuka Lake has two more unwelcome species that have been identified in its waters in 2015. The Keuka Lake Association (KLA) marked their 60th year during their annual meeting Saturday, July 9, where they also reported on the state of the lake. While officials said the lake is in general good health, they did report the discovery of two new invasive species discovered in the Keuka Lake Outlet in the last year: the starry stonewort and the Chinese mysterysnail.
Emily Staychock, invasive species and watershed educator with the Yates County Cornell Cooperative Extension, said the starry stonewort is a macroalgae that has a whorled leaf-like structure. She noted it is rooted by star shaped bulbs and can form dense beds that block sunlight to the water below, as well as get caught in motors. Staychock said it spreads easily, as it can reproduce by fragmentation. This species was discovered by the Penn Yan boat launch in the Keuka Lake Outlet and can be found right along the docks.
While starry stonewort can be similar to other invasive species like Eurasian watermilfoil and hydrilla, Staychock noted it differs because its growth tends to ebb and flow. She noted it is not necessarily as aggressive as hydrilla in its growth, but can still otherwise have the same impact when it does form the dense mats of vegetation floating on the water's surface.
The Chinese mysterysnail was also discovered at the Penn Yan boat launch, with Staychock noting the snail can serve as a vector for diseases to native species. She said the shells can reach 2.5 inches long and can have six to seven whorls. While the snail has been reported in Keuka Lake previously, Staychock added it is still a relatively new discovery, and they are still trying to get an idea of the snail's population size. She mentioned the snail may be down in the Hammondsport area as well at the southern tip of the lake. Staychock said while the snail does not pose a huge threat, the threat for the spread of disease among native species could prove problematic.
In order to combat the spread of these invasive species, Staychock said they will continue to monitor the outlet and lake for them. She also highlighted the boat stewardship program, which has volunteers and employees talk to those who launch their boats at sites around the lake and tell them how to properly clean their boat and trailer of any plant material before transferring it to another body of water.
"The sooner we find them, the better chance we have to maintain them," Staychock said.

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