Lookout for Invasive Water Chestnut!

waterchestnutpic2 Photo by WNY PRISM

On 08/02/19 employees from Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (WNY PRISM) surveyed previous water chestnut (trapa natans) detection points (ca. 2015) in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet. They located and removed “2 very full grocery bags” of this species along the first point on the descending left bank of the outlet downstream of Carlson’s Boat Livery. WNY PRISM employees observed this plant growing in dense stands of native water lily species which made it difficult to locate.
The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) in partnership with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) and Evergreen Outfitters conducted their 3rd aquatic invasive species early detection volunteer taskforce paddle of the 2019 season, which took place on 08/10/19 in the Chautauqua Lake Outlet.
A group of 5 volunteers led by Alliance and RTPI staff paddled up the Chautauqua Lake Outlet to survey historical water chestnut detection points. The closest historical water chestnut detection point is located approximately one mile upriver from the McCrea Point Park Boat launch on the descending right bank of the outlet. While performing visual water chestnut surveys near this point in dense stands of native water lily, one of the volunteer taskforce paddlers notified the group leader that she found one individual water chestnut plant. The project leader recorded a GPS point, removed the individual plant, and took pictures. Upon visual inspection of the plant, there did not appear to be any seeds left on the rosettes. This plant was disposed of in an onsite trash receptacle at McCrea Point Park. The photos and details of this report were uploaded to the state invasive species reporting website iMapInvasives. The iMapInvasives presence report number for this occurrence is 1026031.
Aquatic invasive species early detection paddles like the one held on 08/10/19 are critically important for the early detection and removal of priority aquatic invasive species in Chautauqua Lake to prevent any larger infestations. We are urging the general public to be vigilant of this aggressive aquatic invasive species when they are out recreating on Chautauqua Lake and to report any sightings of water chestnut to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute at (716) 665-2473 or WNY PRISM at (716) 878-4708.