Welcome to Pine River Area Trout Unlimited - #524
Welcome to the Pine River Area Chapter web-site. We thank you for taking your time to review what we have to say and what we are all about. Our board wanted to provide a web-site as a communication piece to both Chapter members and persons wanting to know more about Trout Unlimited in Northern Michigan.
About Pine River TU
We are a grass roots group of dedicated angler/conservationists in the Cadillac Michigan area whose purposes are:
To conserve, protect and restore our local cold water streams and fisheries and their watersheds.
To study, understand and enhance our wild cold water resources.
To pass on our love and knowledge for the sport to the next generation of anglers in our area. This is done by person-to-person interactions, by group participation at meetings and activities and with partnerships with other local organizations.
We hope you take the time to check out our history, our projects and fund raising efforts. We also want you to contact us. Let us know what you think about our site. Inform us of important conservation issues in your neighborhood. Give us ideas about projects. As importantly, we want you to get involved with our Chapter. Give us a call, attend one of our meetings and let us know if you want to get involved.
New Zealand mud snail found in Pere Marquette
By Andy Duffy
CADILLAC — The state Department of Environmental Quality recently confirmed the presence of two invasive species in Michigan rivers. Biologists recently discovered didymo, a freshwater algae, in the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie. The other species, New Zealand mud snails, were found in the Pere Marquette River near Ludington.
Isolated concentrations of didymo have been present in Michigan at least since the early 1900s. The snail had never been known in Michigan before its recent discovery.
Because of the discoveries, officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are again reminding boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry their equipment between trips to the water. Both species can easily attach to boats and fishing gear.
Didymo thrives in cold streams. It can grow into thick mats that cover the bottom of a river and crowd out invertebrates that are important fish forage. Both didymo and the New Zealand mud snails pose a potential threat to drinking water supplies.
Mark Tonello, a DNR fisheries biologist, said it will take a while before the full impact of the presence of the snails in the Pere Marquette watershed will be known.
“Any invasive species is not good news. We need to keep them from spreading,” Tonello said.
The appearance of the mud snails in the Pere Marquette marks one more advance in a long invasion history. According to the Center for Invasive Species Research, they were discovered in the United Kingdom in 1859 and the western Baltic area in 1887. By the 1950s, they had reached the Mediterranean Sea area and other portions of eastern Europe. In 1987, they were discovered in Idaho’s Snake River and they are now found in nearly all of the Rocky Mountain states. In 1991, they were discovered in the Great Lakes.
Genetic analyses indicate the snails most likely arrived in the Great Lakes from Europe rather than from the Rocky Mountain states, making the discharge of ballast water from transoceanic ships the most likely suspect in their appearance.
The news isn’t all bad. “I wouldn’t go selling my cabin on the Pere Marquette yet,” Tonello said, noting that some western streams where the snails are present still contain good populations of trout.
He added, though, that allowing ships to discharge ballast water into the Great Lakes is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. “I would like to see that door slammed shut,” Tonello said.