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New Invasive Poised to Enter Lake Champlain

Researchers have confirmed that a new aquatic invasive species is in the Champlain Canal and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal, and will soon enter Lake Champlain.

The imminent entry of the spiny water flea into Lake Champlain through the Champlain Canal system has been confirmed through water samples taken as part of the Lake Champlain Long Term Water Quality and Biological Monitoring Project.  New York State DEC Region 5 Spokesman David Winchell says the invasive was identified in Canal water samples.

Identification of the spiny water flea, a non-native zooplankton, was confirmed at the Lake Champlain Research Institute at SUNY Plattsburgh. Lake Champlain Sea Grant Extension Specialist Mark Malchoff explains that zooplankton are  tiny animals free floating in the water that typically feed on other zooplankton or phytoplankton, the free floating plants in a lake or pond.

When the spiny water flea enters Lake Champlain, Mark Malchoff expects them to be in direct competition for food sources at the lower end of the food chain.

Mark Malchoff says it’s uncertain just how much of an overall impact the entry of the new invasive will have on the lake ecosystem.

Again the NYS DEC’s David Winchell.

There are no successful control or eradication methods for spiny water flea infestations.  Prevention of its spread is the only effective control, and boaters and anglers are advised to clean any gear transported between water bodies.