‘Rock snot’ confirmed in Kootenay Lake watershed

The scientific name is Didymosphenia geminata — or just Didymo for short — but its more commonly used, and perhaps fitting, term is simply “rock snot.”

The scientific name is Didymosphenia geminata — or just Didymo for short — but its more commonly used, and perhaps fitting, term is simply “rock snot.”

Its presence has been confirmed in the Kootenay Lake watershed, and its unwelcome arrival has the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and the Fish and Wildlife Compensation asking anglers and other water users to take extra care in cleaning gear in an effort to slow its spread.

In early May, while monitoring the Gerrard rainbow trout spawning run at the outlet of Trout Lake, habitat technician Terry Anderson floated over a mat of Didymo covering approximately at least 400 square meters.

“We know that it is already in the Salmo and Columbia rivers,” said Anderson, “but this is the first time we have confirmed it in the Kootenay Lake watershed on such a significant scale.”

Some basic actions will help reduce the spread of Didymo: avoid using felt bottoms on waders; clean all gear (waders, boats nets, etc) between water bodies, preferably with a light bleach solution; and allow the gear to dry thoroughly.

“It only takes one cell on your gear to move Didymo from one system to another,” added Anderson, “so it’s imperative that we all make an effort to slow its spread.”

Didymo is species of algae that can either be free floating or attached to rocks, gathering together to make gelatinous blobs or thick mats, thus earning its “rock snot” moniker. Under water, these mats can resemble thick shag-pile carpeting, ranging in colour from pale yellow-brown to white; and if they get washed-up on shore or the water level drops these dried mats often get confused with dried toilet paper.

Didymo is not thought to adversely affect drinking water, except for colouration and odour. Swimmers have reported feeling itchy when downstream of heavy concentrations.

If anyone sees large mats of Didymo, they are asked to report them to the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at Ministry of Environment by emailing Matthias.Herborg@gov.bc.ca.  For more information on the FWCP visit fwcp.ca.

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read