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  1. #11

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    Quote Originally Posted by madison320 View Post
    I can't help but wonder if it makes any difference. My guess is invasive species have a million ways to spread (birds for example). In my uninformed opinion it makes more sense to use our limited resources to improve habitat, than to try to avoid the spreading of invasive species.
    Then ultimate answer is no. Even in New Zealand, a much smaller ISLAND nation than the USA, with heavy fines and jail time for spreading invasives and a total ban on felt soles, dydimo continues to spread.

    Didymo Biosecurity Alert

    The New Zealand Biosecurity Agency says that there is no way to stop Dydimo or eradicate Dydimo: The following is from the New Zealand Biosecurity Agency Dydimo FAQ page.

    "Can I receive a fine if I spread didymo?

    Didymo has been declared to be an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993. It is an offence to knowingly spread an Unwanted Organism with penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment, and/ or a fine of up to $100,000.

    Will didymo continue to spread to rivers throughout New Zealand?

    Yes. Didymo will likely continue to spread to unaffected areas within New Zealand. Research on the environmental variables which control didymo's growth (water depth and flow rate, nutrients, light, invertebrate grazing, etc.) has helped identify which habitats and locations it is most likely to establish. Ongoing passive and active surveillance will help determine rate and range of spread. Human activities are considered the most likely source of spread of didymo between rivers and catchments."

    Can didymo be eradicated in New Zealand?

    No. Eradicating any microscopic organism from a natural environment is virtually impossible, especially in an aquatic environment. We know of no systematic attempts to eradicate invasive blooms of didymo. This is likely because of its widespread distribution and because in a number of countries it is considered a native species.

    While we work to understand more about the physical, chemical and biological factors which control didymo, our efforts will continue to be focused on reducing the spread from known affected river systems."

    The USA has a population of over 300 million and New Zealand has just over 4 million. We have 100 million sport fishers, NZ has 1 million.

    New Zealand has the most rigid laws (The fine for spreading Dydimo is 5 years in Prison and/or a $100,000.00 fine) to prevent dydimo spread and yet it continues to spread. Dydimo has spread to other areas in every year since it was discovered in 2004 and restrictions were placed in 2005.

    We have 300 times the population, small fines and no jail time; and yet there are those that believe that rubber soles will stop the spread of invasives. Clearly that ignores the evidence.

    The goal then is to delay the spread and not to prevent the spread which is inevitable. The invasives are the Borg.



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    I have not done any extensive research into the different types of diseases, just a small investigation and it seems as though all of these invasive species are all water dwelling microbes. I would think that if your waders and boots are thoroughly rinsed with clean water and set to out to completely dry that the microbes would die. As I said, I have not done any extensive research but I would imagine that these microbes need to stay wet to live. I make sure every time I get home after fishing I rinse and dry my equipment well. It is harder here during Michigan winters, but hopefully the freezing cold kills them, but even in the winter after I let the waders drip dry in the garage they are hung to dry in my basement.

    I agree that this is a very important issue that all fishermen need to keep in the back of their minds. I am sure we have all seen the signs around the river, or heard it talked about, but we must not become complacent in our efforts to preserve the waters we love.

  4. #13

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarsB View Post
    I figured it would be a good idea to start a thread on the topic in this forum. Invasive species that harm streams and rivers can be passed along by dirty waders and other gear. Didymo (rock snot) is a big issue back east, and I have recently learned about whirling disease since moving to Utah. Please post your any tips and info you might have so we can all be educated on the topic.
    We know much more about invasives, especially Didimo since the OP's post above. We also know a lot more about what can and cannot kill the other invasives.

    Max Bothwell, a research scientist for Environment Canada, who wrote an influential article that linked angler's felt soled boots to dydimo spread has now reversed himself and said that anglers are not responsible.

    Here is his original article, On the Boots of Fishermen:

    (PDF) On the Boots of Fishermen: The History of Didymo Blooms on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

    He now believes that dydimo has been in North American waters and that it is a change in water chemistry, specifically lower phosphorus levels that has caused dydimo blooms.

    Read the article in American Angler, July-August, 2013, pp 8-9.

    "'I no longer believe the problem is North American streams is the result of it (dydimo) being moved around.' …. Scientists are now convinced that dydimo lives in many streams, but blooms only when the water has far less than the normal amount of phosphorus…… The most damaging dydimo episode in the US seems to have been on Rapid Creek in South Dakota, where a six-mile bloom dramatically impacted a blue ribbon brown trout fishery. In 2007 and 2008, Bothwell and other scientists added phosphorus to sections of Rapid Creek. Sure enough, the dydimo mats shrank"

    "The results from our synoptic survey, cross-channel transect and time-course observations are all consistent with D. geminata cell division rates, mat thickness and mat coverage (the latter two representing stalk production) being directly linked to the concentration of available phosphorus in the overlying water. These linkages support a mechanistic explanation of D. geminata blooms in oligotrophic waters tied to enhanced stalk production that occurs when cell division rates are phosphorus limited and are consistent with our previous experimental results (Bothwell & Kilroy, 2011; Kilroy & Bothwell, 2011)."

    He published his findings in Freshwater Biology (2012) 57, 641–653 in an article titled:

    Didymosphenia geminata growth rates and bloom formation in relation to ambient dissolved phosphorus concentration

    "The blooms were present only in rivers where average dissolved P was very low. Didymo in higher nutrient waters had higher cell division rates, shorter stalks, and did not form blooms.

    …. the blooms are caused by low nutrients in the overlying water, which promotes excessive stalk production. Subsequent surveys, experiments and observations in New Zealand have all been consistent with low nutrients (specifically low P) driving the blooms."

    Sciblogs | What causes didymo blooms (“rock snot”) in NZ rivers?

    Dydimo uses the mats to use bacteria to concentrate phosphorus in low phosphorus rivers and streams.

    "Didymo's ability to grow prolifically in waters where nutrients such as phosphorus are in short supply puzzled scientists.

    Environmental managers tried to mitigate Didymo blooms and predict their spread. But how the diatoms sustained such high growth in oligotrophic systems was unknown.

    In a study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the State of South Dakota Carbon Scientist fund, Sundareshwar and colleagues revealed that Didymo is able to concentrate phosphorus from the water.

    Phosphorus is available to Didymo thanks to the activity of the bacteria that live inside these mats."

    The same data findings have been published in the New Zealand Scientific Community Journal Wailogy "What causes didymo blooms"

    A study of a new bloom in Rapid Creek in South Dakota found the same low phosphorus conditions in the water but that Didymo form mats. The mats contain bacteria that concentrate the phosphorus. Therefore, Dydimo mats are the result of the low phosphorus in the water. Without low phosphorus dydimo would be in the form of regular diatoms.

    "Didymosphenia geminata, is able to colonize and dominate the bottoms of some of the world's cleanest waterways--precisely because they are so clear. Didymo does so with a little help from its friends--in this case, bacteria--which allow it to make use of nutrients like phosphorus.

    In a study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the State of South Dakota Carbon Scientist fund, Sundareshwar and colleagues revealed that Didymo is able to concentrate phosphorus from the water. Didymo thrives in Rapid Creek through biogeochemical processes in biofilms in the mats. As Didymo mats form, new stalks develop at the surface and older stalks--which have already bound phosphorus--are displaced to the mats' inner regions. Phosphorus is available to Didymo thanks to the activity of the bacteria that live inside these mats. "This study solves the puzzle of how Didymo can produce such large blooms in low-nutrient rivers and streams," says Tim Kratz, program director in NSF's Division of Environmental Biology. "It has uncovered the fascinating mechanism by which Didymo ‘scrubs' phosphorus from a stream or river," says Kratz, "then creates a microenvironment that allows microbes to make this nutrient available for Didymo's growth."

    River Mystery Solved | NSF - National Science Foundation

    I think this recent discovery makes more sense than the old theory that all of a sudden dydimo sprang due to anglers boots when anglers have been using these same rivers for over a century with no dydimo blooms.

    What is causing the dydimo blooms, I surmise, is the current trend of reducing phosphorus in detergents and lawn fertilizer. So as we get rid of phosphorus to prevent algae blooms we get dydimo blooms.

    Ever wonder why NZ has such a problem with dydimo? They have lots of crystal clear streams and rivers with low phosphorus because there is little run off from agriculture and lawns.

    So dydimo is not spread by boots.

    How about the other organisms like whirling disease myxospores, zebra mussels, and New Zealand mud snails. How effective is washing and drying in preventing spread. Not very effective at all. These are hardy organisms and that is why they spread.

    For example the myxospore stage of whirling disease

    Myxobolus cerebralis - Wikipedia

    "Myxospores are extremely tough: "it was shown that Myxobolus cerebralis spores can tolerate freezing at −20°C for at least 3 months, aging in mud at 13°C for at least 5 months, and passage through the guts of northern pike Esox lucius or mallards Anas platyrhynchos without loss of infectivity" to worms.[11] Triactinomyxons are much shorter-lived, surviving 34 days or less, depending on temperature.[12]"

    "Suggested methods for killing the myxospore stage include thorough drying, heating for 10 min at 90°C, calcium hydroxide at more than 0.5% for 24 h, and calcium oxide or KOH at more than 0.25% for 24 h. Chlorine was also effective at 1600 ppm in 24-h exposure or 5,000 ppm in a 10-min exposure. Roccal (alkyl dimethylbenzylammonium chloride) at more than 200 ppm active ingredient was also effective. Calcium cyanide at 4,000 kg/ha has been used effectively for control in infected ponds. Treating incoming water with 2537 Å of ultraviolet (UV) light at dosages greater than or equal to 35,000 microwatt-sec/cm2 was effective in preventing infection of rainbow trout fry. Filtration of water through a 25 μm commercial filter cartridge did not reduce or eliminate the disease, but sand-charcoal filters have been used successfully in France."

    Fact - there is not a single decontamination method that will work for all invasives. Some work for dydimo but they will not work on NZ mud snails or whirling disease. So you have to pick the invasive that you want to protect against. Who will take the time to research what to do for every invasive?

    The other problem is that decontamination with some chemicals actually shorten the life of waders and wading boots. Download the PDF of the State of California DFG study on methods of decontaminating for New Zealand Mud Snails to see the damage done to waders and boots. Click on the link below.

The California study found that chemical decontamination eventually destroyed the waders and boots. Bleach for example is an oxidizer and damages gear. Any spill or drips in your vehicle will damage upholstery and carpets. That is why manufacturers recommend rinsing and drying gear without the use of chemicals. HOWEVER washing and rinsing with water alone does NOT KILL NZ Mud Snail and other invasives.

    The other key problem is that MOST of the invasive NZ mudsnails were NOT ON THE BOOT BOTTOM. So felt vs rubber will make no difference:

    "The majority of NZMS recovered were associated with wading boots. NZMS were observed on the tongue area of wading boots, associated with the laces or the area of the tongue that was tucked beneath the lacing eyelets. Large numbers of small NZMS were present inside of the boots, having worked down between the boot and the neoprene bootie of the wader. If the boots contained padded insole inserts, NZMS were also found underneath the inserts, associated with sand grains. NZMS were recovered from every treated set of wading gear. Numbers of NZMS per sample (Figure 8) ranged from 1 to 227 with a mean of 33 (Appendix 2). Over 50% of NZMS recovered were < 1 mm in size (Table 4)."

Here are some photos gear that has been chemically decontaminated. There were treated ONLY 7 TIMES and the gear looks like this. That is why I say there is no single treatment that will kill all invasives and won't damage wading gear excessively.


    Pine Sol

    Bezethonium Chloride

    The bottom line is that for invasives, there is no magic bullet. Rubber boots vs felt will make little difference. It will reduce the number of invasives that are transferred but that is like reducing the load of Ebola virus that infects you. You are still infected and it will take you a bit longer to die. These are asexual organisms that will "infect" a watershed with just a single transferred organism.

    There is no single safe chemical treatment that will kill or remove all invasives. “NZMS were recovered from every treated set of wading gear“*even after treatment.

    So the ultimate result will be that these organisms will spread to whatever watersheds that are suitable for their biology. Not all watersheds are suitable for Whirling disease and that will decide whether they get infected just like didymo will not form mats in all watersheds.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  6. #14

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    The easiest way is to brush off by the water and then fully dry between trips... tricky if you are bouncing between catchments on the same day.
    If money allowl the easiest way is to have two sets of boots and waders, which at least would make drying between consecutive days maneageble.

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  8. #15

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    I wear different gear in different waters. I fish the North Platte in WY a LOT (99.9% of my freshwater fishing). The gear I wear and use there is very different from what I wear in Boulder Creek which is a 5 minute walk from my door. The gear I wear in either of those is very different from what I take on a tropical trip to the Caribbean or Indian Ocean.

    As such, I don't really give a lot of thought to it, -I'm not cross contaminating.

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  10. #16

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    hatidua, I know a Calif DFW biologist who basically visits a different watershed every day. She has a small freezer in her garage, and she keeps swapping between 2 outfits (waders, boots and maybe wading stick). Her daily routine is something like this:
    Day 1, morning: Wear outfit #1, freeze outfit #2 (8+ hours)
    Day 1, evening: rinse and dry outfit #1 (incl boot dryer), thaw outfit #2
    Day 2, morning: Wear outfit #2, freeze outfit #1
    Day 2, evening: rinse and dry outfit #2, thaw outfit #1
    - repeat-

    Of course, this is her "work uniform", so I assume it is either reimbursed or perhaps deductible. Not all of us can afford 2 outfits.
    There's not a day that goes by that I don't wonder how dreary this world would be if elk were bald and birds had no feathers.
    - Hank Patterson

  11. #17

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikechell View Post
    Bleach. Nothing lives through bleach. (I'm probably wrong, but it's a good start)

    On the other hand, there is never going to be 100% compliance with any regulations, and it only takes one idiot/inconsiderate ******* to carry the invasive species from one area to another.

    Unfortunately, invasive species are just something we'll be living with.

    When I fish, I leave nothing behind, not even the tiniest snippet of tippet material. If I see a "No Trespassing" sign, I respect the owner's wishes and won't even consider wading from up or downstream to that area.

    I'm fortunate to live in Southern Ontario, with a multitude of great trout rivers in very close proximity to each other. Sometimes I will start fishing on one but by the end of the day may have moved on to another, as it may only be ten minutes away. And although there is little chance of me contaminating a river that is within the same watershed, there is the possibility that I may do just that, because I don't hose down my waders. I do so after every outing, when I come home, and then let them dry for upwards of 4 - 7 days before venturing out again.

    I don't consider myself an idiot/inconsiderate *******, but by your blanket statement, that's exactly what you are labelling me.

    So please tell me what you do when you move from one river to another during the same outing so that I can live up to standards.

    Edit: I've decided that until I purchase another set of waders, I'll just have to fish one river per outing.
    Last edited by Ibroxlad; 06-15-2019 at 04:03 PM.

  12. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Marana ,Hellazonia . Idaho , Utah , Mt , NM and Wyoming at different times of the year .

    Default Re: Cleaning your gear to prevent invasive species?

    I dont bother as I live in AZ and the heat kills it faster than I can get them wet .

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