Didymo found in the Batten Kill River

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(Host) An invasive algae with the potential to damage fish habitat has been found in one of Vermont’s premier trout streams.

State biologists have discovered didymo in the Batten Kill River in southern Vermont, near the New York border. The algae have also been spotted on the Connecticut River and in two locations on the White River.

Didymo can form extensive, large cotton-like mats on the stream bottom. Because it smothers rocks, it threatens fish habitat and the aquatic insects that trout and other fish need for food.

It now appears that didymo has been in the region longer than previously thought. Last year, the Batten Kill Conservancy’s River Watch program in New York discovered an algae bloom that extended about two miles. Samples of the bloom were tested and confirmed as didymo. This year’s outbreak seems to be much smaller.

There’s no known way of getting rid of didymo once it takes hold in a stream. The state asks that anyone with fishing or boating gear soak their equipment in hot soapy water for at least 30 minutes.

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