New York Post



October 7, 2007 -- AN INVASIVE algae is threatening some of New York's finest trout streams and, if left unchecked, could spread throughout the Catskills.

The presence of didymo has been found in the East Branch of the Delaware River and is suspected to be in the West Branch.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says these are just the latest incidents of this algae, also called rock snot because of its appearance. Early this summer, didymo also was discovered in a section of the Batten Kill in Washington County.

The DEC is particularly worried it will spread to nearby storied trout waters Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek.

Anglers can be the culprit in helping to spread this algae, which can attach itself to porous materials such as neoprene waders and felt soles. That poses a big problem because fly fishermen can fish a number of streams through the course of a day or a weekend.

Didymo cells can produce large amounts of stalk material that forms thick mats on stream bottoms. These mats alter stream conditions, choking out many of the organisms that live on the stream bottom, potentially causing a ripple effect up the food chain affecting trout and other fish.

Anglers, kayakers, canoeists, boaters and jet skiers can unknowingly spread didymo by transporting the cells on boats and other gear. There is no known method for killing this algae.

If you do suspect the presence of didymo in state waters, contact the local DEC office with the location so samples can be taken to document and monitor the algae's spread.

Anglers should check their waders for any clumps of algae and throw them in the trash.

Treatment varies depending on what needs to be cleaned. Be sure the solution completely penetrates thick, absorbent items such as felt-soled waders and wading boots. Go to for cleaning instructions.

If cleaning is not practical, the DEC says that after the item is completely dry to the touch, wait an additional 48 hours before contact or use in any other waterway.


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