Educational video and companion lesson plan discusses control of aquatic invasive species
Forestville, WI (February 27, 2023) – The genie is out of the bottle, to some degree. Harmful aquatic invasive species have been with us for decades, and in some cases, well over a century. Certain plants, fish, and invertebrates have hitched rides in the ballasts of transcontinental vessels and been carelessly deposited in North American waters. Subsequently, recreational boaters inadvertently spread the intruders from body of water to body of water, resulting in the introduction of a nonnative species into an aquatic environment, disrupting the long-established balance. (Even exotic fish and plants transferred from aquariums to wild environments are culprits in the introduction and spread.)
Zebra Mussel: A menace in the Great Lakes, river systems and some large lakes. First discovered in 1988, the shelled menaces filter and eat phytoplankton (microscopic plants), small zooplankton (microscopic animals), and detritus (pieces of organic debris) that are important to native food webs.
Quagga Mussel: The smaller Quagga Mussel is equally as harmful to freshwater environments. It, too, disrupts food webs by foraging on phytoplankton, zooplankton, detritus. They were first found in 1989 and native to Ukraine.
Purple Loosestrife: Although the blooms are attractive, they’re destroyers down below. Purple Loosestrife displaces native shoreline plants like cattails. Their invasion dates to the early 1800’s when the destructive plant was brought to North America for its ornamental appeal.
Eurasian Milfoil: One of the most pervasive invasives in North America, Eurasian Milfoil is common in Europe and Asia. But in our waters, it quickly smothers native plants and clogs surfaces with a sometimes-impenetrable canopy. Eurasian Milfoil has been here for decades.
Water Hyacinth: The floating plant and its flowers are attractive in koi ponds, but let loose, Water Hyacinth spread like wildfire, quickly overtaking surfaces, and snuffing sunlight for native plants. The dastardly Asian plant has been in North America since the late 1800’s.
Giant Salvinia: Yet another aggressively growing surface plant that blocks sunlight, crowds out native species, and reduces oxygen levels. Discovered in the 1990’s, the harmful plant is presently making its way across Texas.
ABOUT Future Angler Foundation
The Future Angler Foundation (FAF) is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation formed in April of 2012. The FAF’s mission is to “Create New Anglers and Boaters” through its support of angler education and boating safety programs hosted by passionate, knowledgeable volunteers throughout the U.S. and through its “Getting Families Fishing” initiative, a series of free source digital educational programs developed to engage young anglers and boaters as they educate them about angling in an exciting, informative, and effective manner. More information about the FAF can be found online at www.futureangler.org.