A small invasive beetle that has decimated ash groves in the Midwest was found in Oregon earlier this summer, the first to be found on the West Coast. When – not if – it spreads in Oregon, it has the potential to destroy large swaths of ash trees in forests and along streams located on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. The loss of the trees could impact salmon and steelhead in the Willamette Valley.
Deployment of emergency measures to control invasive European green crabs on the Washington Coast and at sites within the Salish Sea is well underway, including the implementation of an Incident Command System to facilitate statewide coordination between various agencies, tribes, and partners.
In the battle to block destructive zebra and quagga mussels from infesting Pacific Northwest waters, the four states at watercraft inspection stations in 2021 intercepted 55 more fouled boats than last year even though the number of total inspections were substantially less than in 2020.
An effort by tribes, the state of Washington and federal agencies to suppress or eradicate invasive Northern Pike is bearing fruit in Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam, according to an update by biologists at this week’s meeting of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee.
European green crabs feast on shellfish, destroy marsh habitats by burrowing in the mud and obliterate valuable seagrass beds. The invasive species also reproduces quickly, making it a nightmare for wildlife managers seeking to control its spread in Washington’s marine waters.
Invasive species cause biodiversity loss and about $120 billion in annual damages in the U.S. alone. Despite plentiful evidence that invasive species can change food webs, how invaders disrupt food webs and native species over time has remained unclear.
American shad, a non-native fish species introduced to the Columbia River basin in the late 1800s, has replaced salmon and steelhead as the most abundant anadromous fish in the basin – by a long shot – and, although there are a number of uncertainties, their abundance could be impacting salmon and steelhead recovery in the Columbia and Snake rivers, a recent report says.
On Sunday, June 27, watercraft inspection stations in eastern Montana intercepted two boats entering the state carrying invasive mussels, making it the 35th and 36th mussel-fouled boats intercepted this year. This surpasses the total number of 35 mussel-fouled boats intercepted in 2020.
Biologists led by the University of Iowa discovered the presence of the invasive New Zealand mud snail by detecting their DNA in waters they were inhabiting incognito. The researchers employed a technique called environmental DNA to reveal the snails' existence, showing the method can be used to detect and control new, unknown incursions by the snail and other invasive species.