Information & Action
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Floating Classroom, Cayuga Lake
What You Can Do
Hydrilla is an aggressively invasive aquatic weed that spreads readily to produce choking green mats across wide expanses. Florida, California and other states have spent many millions of dollars over the past 30 years to try to keep it under control.
In mid-August 2011 Hydrilla verticillata was found infesting 166 acres in the Cayuga Inlet, which drains to Cayuga Lake’s southern end in Ithaca.
Chemical treatments in 2011-2017 have shown to be a success. No hydrilla found in the Cayuga Inlet since 2015 and no hydrilla found in Fall Creek since 2016. The Hydrilla Task Force continues to develop and modify the management plan in order to combat the invasive plant.
Click here for a .pdf of "Ask the Expert," a public Q&A session on hydrilla.
If hydrilla spreads up Cayuga Lake and north through Mud Lock, or to other lakes, the entire Great Lakes region is at risk. Hydrilla can fill and choke waterbodies 30 feet deep.
Mike Hall, hydrilla program manager for Tompkins County, can be reached in several ways:
Like Stophydrilla.org on Facebook
Watercraft Stewards, Finger Lakes: Thanks to an innovative program developed by Cayuga County and the Finger Lakes Institute, Water Stewards were present on nine Finger Lakes during 2012 to educate boaters about hydrilla and other invasive species. Our intern Dan Munsell wrote an article for our 3/12 newsletter issue about his Water Steward experience. Learn more about this program and plans for 2018: http://www.hws.edu/fli/projects_steward.aspx
Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom: The Floating Classroom offers hydrilla information and identification training on its Ecocruises during the summer months.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Learn more at http://www.stophydrilla.org, provided by Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension, maintained by Sharon Anderson and staff.
- Read or print the Hydrilla Info flyer
- Learn how to clean your boats thoroughly
- Be on the lookout for hydrilla around the lake and elsewhere in the spring and summer: If you think you have found hydrilla, TAKE A PHOTO and report via www.stophydrilla.org. Store a sample in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for identification. Don’t remove suspected hydrilla. It will break and spread.
- Join our Hydrilla Hunters citizen scientists group! Let us know if you would like to help the Network (we are a member organization of the Hydrilla Task Force, Cayuga Lake Watershed) to protect the lake and watershed from a hydrilla takeover. For ALL AGES.
- Trained volunteers were essential to monitoring Cayuga Lake, its shoreline, and creeks for the presence of hydrilla in the fall of 2011 and during 2012. This vigilance will be needed again in 2013. Want to help? Contact us.
- Hydrilla Hunters receive periodic email newsletters from us during the spring to fall months. Click here to view a 2012 issue, and click here to get the latest Hydrilla Hunter news.
- Laminated samples of hydrilla and good-guy look-alike plants will be available later this year – watch this space and our Hydrilla Hunter newsletters for updates!
- Cayuga Lake’s West Shore Homeowners Association has a training and report template for lakeshore property owners/renters who want to keep an eye out for hydrilla during the growing season. We are expanding this citizen science template for reporting invasives to other Finger Lakes during the spring and summer, in cooperation with the Finger Lakes Institute and the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance. Interested? Contact us.
Go to our Climate Change Resource page for information about other invasive species, related climate change information, and what you can do.