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Dealing with Rock Snot!

May 23, 2009

Didymo, or Rock Snot is a particularly dangerous strain of Algae that has many anglers from around the world worried these days. Not your every day Algae, Didymo spreads extremely quickly from infected waters on waders, boats, and other fishing gear. Even a single cell is enough to completely engulf your favorite river, challenging the fisheries and coating nearly everything from bank to bank.

Fly Fishing In Maine has teamed up with various parties including the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and L.L.Bean to help combat invasive algae species like Didymo before they become a major problem in Maine. No rivers in Maine have been infected with Rock Snot yet, but they are not taking any chances. Recently 3 washing stations were installed in the state, one on the Presumpscot River in Windham and the others on the Rapid River. Anglers are encouraged to step into the salt solutions of these washing stations to scrub their boots and waders clean of any aquatic plants or organisms that might be a host for Didymo.

didymo_station_small

I feel like the real problem with Rock Snot is that people simply aren’t educated as to what it is or the harmful affects it can have on their favorite streams and rivers. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection provides Maine fishermen with invaluable tips on how to clean their gear, and what they should be looking out for while on the water.

-Anglers and boaters: How to clean your gear (From Department of Environmental Protection)

Check : Before leaving a river or stream, remove all obvious clumps of algae and look for hidden clumps. Leave them at the affected site. If you find any later, do not wash them down drains; dispose all material in the trash.
Clean : Soak and scrub all items for at least one minute in hot (140 degrees F) water and a five percent solution (one cup per gallon of water) of dishwashing detergent. Soak felt-lined waders and other absorbent material for at least 30-40 minutes.
Dry : If cleaning is not practical, after the item is completely dry to touch, wait an additional 48 hours before contact or use in any other waterway.
These steps are more than suggestions; they’re absolutely essential for preserving the quality of Maine rivers and streams.
Didymo, or Rock Snot

Didymo, or Rock Snot

For additional information, and to view an informational video on the new wash stations and the harmful affects of Didymo, visit FlyFishingInMaine.com

Happy Castings,

-Ben

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