One of the most aggressive aquatic plants to invade North America, called hydrilla, was first detected in the Cayuga Inlet in August 2011 by a volunteer on board the Floating Classroom (the first spotting was in the Linderman Creek area of the Inlet). In a follow-up survey, Robert L. Johnson, a local plant expert with Cornell University and Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists, located several areas of the Inlet with extensive populations of hydrilla (Plant Monitoring 2011). In August 2013, hydrilla was found in Fall Creek and in the shallow southeast corner of Cayuga Lake. In 2016 hydrilla was found in Aurora.
If it is not contained, it is likely to spread into a vast network of interconnected water bodies in New York State and beyond, including the Great Lakes via its reproductive structures (tubers and turions). The NY Invasive Species Research Institute has provided a summary of information about hydrilla.
The Hydrilla Task Force works to fully eradicate hydrilla from the Cayuga Lake Watershed. Efforts to date are very successful. Treatments at the south end of the watershed (Cayuga Inlet, Fall Creek, and the southeastern corner of Cayuga Lake) .will likely be completed in 2017, with ongoing monitoring to ensure hydrilla does not return. Treatment of the hydrilla infestation in Aurora is planned for 2017. Local p successful in other areas of the country informs local plan.
Hydrilla in the Cayuga Inlet was found early on, at a point in the invasion curve where eradication was deemed possible. The goal stated in the 2012 Work Plan is complete eradication. Many control measures were considered and most are not viable for our infestation at this time. See Control Method Considerations.
There are four main management options for hydrilla: biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical.
Everyone can help in the fight against hydrilla. Learn more about what you can do to stop the spread of this invasive water weed.
Hydrilla can be identified by many characteristics, such as pointed leaves, potato-like tubers, and aggressive growth.
The Hydrilla Task Force of the Cayuga Lake Watershed learns the best ways to deal with hydrilla from other areas of the U.S. who have overcome it.
Last updated June 27, 2017