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Invasive Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake George

Researchers say they've found the invasive spiny water flea in Lake George, the latest New York waterway contaminated with the creature that competes with fish for food.

The state Department of Conservation says Wednesday an angler at the north end of the lake pulled in a batch of fleas last week and samples taken Tuesday confirmed it's living off Mallory Island, near the northeast shore. An angler found a mass of spiny water flea collected on his line and reported it.

Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh Director Tim Mihuc confirmed the invasive in the Champlain Canal.

A task force of New York and Vermont authorities is working to stem the spread of the flea, which feeds on small crustaceans and plankton. Boaters and fisherman are being told to decontaminate their gear before entering area waters.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont called Monday for closing parts of the Champlain Canal to protect Lake Champlain, a move rejected by New York officials.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.