The fishhook waterflea was discovered near Valcour Island in September, making it the fifty-first known invasive species to date in Lake Champlain. The discovery was made by Plattsburgh SUNY’s Lake Champlain Research Institute (LCRI) at an established Lake Champlain Long-term Biological Monitoring Program site supported by the Lake Champlain Basin Program. Analysis of the water samples by LCRI’s Dr. Tim Mihuc and his staff confirmed high densities of over 100 individual fishhook waterfleas per sample.
The Lake Champlain Committee (LCC) has been named a “2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits. LCC uses science-based advocacy, education and collaborative action to protect water quality, safeguard habitats, provide access, and foster stewardship in the Lake Champlain watershed.
It was a sunny, crisp October morning. The rainy grey mist from the week before had cleared to reveal a stunning panorama of mountains, lake, and sand. On a beach just north of Burlington LCC staff and volunteers and a crew from Magic Hat Brewery, bundled in warm layers against the morning chill, arranged in a staggered line. Those with muck boots waded through the shallow water, while the others walked along the shoreline. Every few paces each stopped to kneel and scoop up sand in a small metal sieve. They then shook away the sand, as if panning for gold, examined the contents briefly – and discarded them.
Interested in Lake Champlain’s past, present and future? Sign up soon to join LCC at The Lake Between (Le lac qui nous unit) – an International Conference designed to bring together academics, business leaders, policy-makers, outdoor enthusiasts, boaters and swimmers, musicians and artists to talk about the lake.
The Nature note below is written by Laura Pratt, LCC’s new ECO AmeriCorps Education & Outreach Coordinator. Monarchs left the Lake Champlain watershed in September as temperatures dropped and the milkweed died back. Both factors drive their migration as they can’t survive low temperatures or reproduce without milkweed. Their destination? The oyamel fir forests north of Mexico City where all monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains migrate for winter. The butterflies that survived the journey from the Champlain Valley should be arriving in Mexico throughout November.
On August 18 of this year, a man fishing for channel catfish in Lake Champlain’s South Bay reeled in a record-breaking longnose gar instead. The big fish was 52 and ¼ inches long and weighed in at 14 pounds 10 ounces, besting the 1999 New York state record by one and a half pounds.
Laura Pratt is LCC’s newest ECO AmeriCorps Education & Outreach Coordinator. She joined LCC in September and picks up on the service of Dominic Brennan and Daniel Denora who preceded her in the eleven-month position.
Deep thanks to all our cyanobacteria monitors for their diligent work during the 2018 season. Many began assessing site conditions in mid-June and filed their final report 19 weeks later in mid-October. LCC monitors and our partners at the Vermont and New York Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation gathered data from nearly 150 sites in the Lake Champlain watershed and filed more than 1,800 reports about water conditions.
For several years, Magic Hat Brewing Company has been funding LCC programs, promoting our work for clean water with special lake brews, and providing volunteer assistance for special projects. Our latest collaboration was a two-day session to search for Asian clams, an invasive mollusk that’s been found in nearby waterways.
WCAX TV - "A shorebird with an intense appetite and destructive droppings is on the decline in Lake Champlain. A multi-year effort by Vermont Fish and Wildlife, the New York DEC, and private land owners to reduce the cormorant population appears to be paying off."
The Trust for Public Land - "The Trust for Public Land conducted an economic analysis and found that every $1 invested in land conservation by the state returns $9 in economic value in natural goods and services, such as water quality protection, flood mitigation, and food production, to the Vermont economy."
The New York Times - "A multimillion-dollar floating boom designed to corral plastic debris littering the Pacific Ocean deployed from San Francisco Bay on Saturday as part of a larger high-stakes and ambitious undertaking."
Water World - "To rapidly detect the presence of E. coli in drinking water, Cornell University food scientists now can employ a bacteriophage - -a genetically engineered virus -- in a test used in hard-to-reach areas around the world."