Connecticut officials side with US Fish & Wildlife scientists in the belief that the once fearsome Didymo, or Rock Snot as it’s more commonly known, is largely harmless to both insect populations and fish in infested streams.
It’s a win for the fish regardless of whether you believed rubber soles exonerate us of all sins or no …
Didymo has had a negative effect on water bodies in New Zealand, creating large mats on the bottoms of rivers and affecting the food chain. Although the algae has been found in the Northeast, the same effects have yet to be seen in New England, Aarrestad said.
“Colleagues [in Vermont] have assured me that the devastation was not what they’d seen on the other side of the world,” Aarrestad said. And in New Zealand, “there is no scientific evidence demonstrating negative effects on trout populations.”
*Peter Aarrestad, director of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Inland Fisheries Division (and those are my boldings)
All of which makes the articles in the Maryland media that much more humorous. My personal favorite skipped the wading issue entirely, suggesting Didymo was spread by angler’s feet … which suggests the Missus will insist we keep our socks on while in bed.
Now all that remains is for the two groups to get their stories straight, as the US Fish & Wildlife article was written by New Zealand scientists who claim they also saw little damage to their insect populations contrary to the Connecticut excerpt, above.
It’s certain that no one wants to alter any of the watersheds visually or otherwise, but someone in the conservation community needs to alter their sensationalist fear message to match the the facts as they emerge …
For a more formal treatment of “Didymo as potentially benign”, see the always wonderful Turning Over Small Stones .