It seems the list of invasive species grows every day. Here in Colorado, it was the New Zealand mud snail, then the zebra mussel was discovered on a boat anchor rope in Pueblo Reservoir.
Invasive species are an ever growing problem in the U.S. August 9, 2005, three voracious Snakehead Fish were discovered in Meadow Lake of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens New York. (Ref: New York Times 8/9/2005 page C15).
The snakehead is a top of food chain predator with rows of sharp teeth and a torpedo shaped body designed to ambush its prey. They will literally wipe out all other fish in a lake or pond if allowed to reproduce unchecked.
July 5, 2007 Jerry Melton fishing the Catawba River in North Carolina caught a 1 pound 4 ounce piranha instead of the catfish he was hoping to catch. Imagine what will happen if there are more piranha in this river and they start reproducing.
August 15, 2006, another angler Jack Clements caught an 11 inch Pacu, a vegetarian cousin of piranha, in Utah Lake near Provo, Utah. The Pacu article offers a fairly comprehensive look at the invasive species problem. Much of the problem comes from people dumping their aquariums into local waterways instead of responsibly destroying the contents or donating the aquarium to a school or zoo. Dumping aquariums can spread plant disease, invasive plants or fish, snails and cause other problems for aquasystems.
List of Invasive Species
- Snakehead Fish
- Round Goby
- Sea Lamprey eel
- New Zealand Mud Snail
- Aquarium Snails which may be from Asia
- Zebra mussels originally came from the Black Sea. Imported in ballast water of ships, they have become a major problem in from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Maximum out of water survival time for Adults in ideal conditions is 10 Days. A juvenile or veliger is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence and can survive in any residual water source.
- Lion Fish — A venomous fish
- Common Carp
- Common aquarium Gold Fish
- Didymo aka Rock Snot
- Rusty Crayfish – Crusteacean
- Spiny Water Flea – Crusteacean
- Japanese Shore Crab – Crusteacean
- Killer Algae aka caulerpa taxifolia – Plant
- Hydrilla – Plant
- Water Hyacinth – Plant
- Purple Loose Strife – Plant
- Whirling Disease
- Bull Frog – In Oregon, the bullfrog is considered an invasive species.
- Walking Catfish
The next post we’ll look at the Impact of Invasive Species. The last post in the series will be techniques to prevent the spread of Invasive Species.
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