CT DEP has confirmed the presence of Didymo or more commonly "Rock Snot" in the Farmington River. This highly invasive algae can spread to other waterways if proper precautions are not taken. It is not uncommon to wade and fish the Farmington River one day, perhaps the Willimantic River the next and maybe the Natchaug river the day after. In each case felt sole wading shoes, boots, and waders may not be completely dry before entering a different stream or river. While the tailwaters seem to be more susceptible to Didymo invasion, WE CANNOT BE CARELESS in protecting our freestone Eastern CT streams from this threat. The DEP recommends the following:
Humans are the primary vector responsible for the recent spread of didymo. Anglers, kayakers and canoeists, boaters and jet skiers can all unknowingly spread didymo.The microscopic cells can cling to fishing gear, waders (felt soles can be especially problematic), boots and boats, and remain viable for months under even slightly moist conditions. To prevent the spread of didymo to additional waters, DEP asks that anglers, especially those who also fish the Farmington River or streams outside Connecticut, and other users practice CHECK, CLEAN, DRY procedures.
· CHECK: Before leaving a river, stream or lake, remove all obvious clumps of algae and plant material from fishing gear, waders, clothing & footwear, canoes & kayaks, and anything else that has been in the water and look for hidden clumps. Leave them at the site. If you find any later, clean your gear and dispose of all material in the trash.
· CLEAN: Soak/spray & scrub boats and all other “hard” items for at least one minute in either very hot (140°F) water, a 2% bleach solution, or a 5% dishwashing detergent solution. Absorbent materials such as clothes and felt soles on waders should be soaked for at least 40 minutes in very hot water (140°F), or 30 minutes in hot water (115°F) with 5% dishwashing detergent. Freezing thoroughly will also kill didymo.
· 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.
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Team 7x, fly fishing instructors and sponsors of "Evenings on the Natchaug" (below) will make a special effort to educate Natchaug River and Eastern CT anglers about the threat of Didymo during the 2011 fishing season.