Invasive “Rock Snot” algae species discovered in Connecticut

Species was only recently confirmed to be unique to Connecticut

(CNN) – Along this half mile stretch of the Farmington River in Barkhamsted you’ll find a species that hasn’t been discovered anywhere else on earth.

Mike Beauchene, the supervising fisheries biologist, said, “So far in the world, this is the only place.”

The official name is a bit of mouthful. Beauchene said, “It’s actually Didymosphenia Hullii is the new species.”

However, it falls into a category that sounds more like a nose full. “This is the Rock Snot,” Beauchene said.

Biologists call this brown, clumpy algae Rock Snot. “You can kind of see how it gets its name. It makes this nice little strand,” Beauchene said.

They discovered this new rock snot species back in 2011, but only recently confirmed it is unique to this particular spot. “It’s our own little thing,” Beauchene said.

The problem is this little thing can’t be cleaned up with a tissue, or any other means. It’s an invasive species that could do damage to the natural ecosystem in the river.

Beauchene said, “It has the potential to grow and cause large quantities, like a carpet, completely blanketing, and some would say smothering what would naturally be there.”

That means native insects couldn’t survive there, potentially causing a ripple effect up the food chain.

“This river is Connecticut`s premiere trout fishery. People come from all over the world to fish here and that`s probably why we ended up with some of these algae in the first place.”

So far that has happened here, but biologists don’t know what could happen if it were to bloom elsewhere.

“Just in case that next place that it goes to might be that natural disaster,” Beauchene said.

They’re asking anglers, boaters, jetskiiers and all others who use the river to check for algae before leaving the water, then clean and dry their boots and gear.

“Simple salt solution or freezing works really well. Just be cognizant of where you`ve been,” Beauchene said.

Just like with a cold or the flu, it’s best to avoid spreading snot.

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