June 19, 2008
State biologists confirmed a didymo bloom on Locust Creek today, the first bloom found on a tributary of the White River. Didymo may be seen growing on rocks from the mouth of Locust Creek up to the first bridge on Old Route 12.
This news came after a nuisance didymo bloom was confirmed last week on the main stem of the White River in Bethel. A “nuisance bloom” is defined as a mass of stalks that extend for greater than 1km and persist for several months of the year.
The area affected by this nuisance bloom runs from Locust Creek (near the Route 12 North intersection with Route 107) downstream to Cleveland Brook (just upstream from Peavine Park in Bethel). River users are urged to avoid moving from this affected area into uncontaminated areas (such as the Third Branch or upper Locust Creek) without first thoroughly disinfecting their clothing and gear.
Didymo, which was first found in the White River in July 2007 near Stony Brook in Stockbridge, Vermont, is a cause for concern because it forms thick mats on rocks that can choke out aquatic organisms, is easy to spread via human contact, and fouls the water for recreation. Since eradication is not possible, public education about spread prevention is the most effective response method available.
The White River Partnership (WRP) and Trout Unlimited (TU) are teaming up to address Didymo in the White River watershed through a far-reaching education campaign this summer. New brochures have been printed and are being distributed to local businesses – mainly outfitters, outdoor stores and other businesses that sell fishing licenses – in hopes of educating people who fish, swim and boat in the river about decontaminating gear and clothing used in the water.
In addition, WRP and TU members will be monitoring the river and installing permanent signs along the river urging people to Check, Clean and Dry any and all clothing and gear that has been in the White River. For more information about the Check, Clean and Dry protocols, visit our Didymo Resources page.