Aquatic Invasive Species River Steward
Ausable River Association (2015). Aquatic Invasive Species River Steward (Final Report). Grand Isle, VT: Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) that disturb river systems are quickly making their way into the Lake Champlain Basin. The Ausable River, though currently healthy, is stressed, and cannot afford to be affected by nuisance species or invaders. AIS such as New Zealand mud snail, rusty crayfish, and fish diseases, and nuisance species such as didymo threaten both the Ausable River’s ecosystems and the region’s tourism. The introduction of these invasive/nuisance species, combined with already established terrestrial invasive species, could have a devastating impact on the river. AIS affect water quality, habitat diversity, and nutrient processing, putting stress on native species such as brook trout. The Ausable River brings $3.8 million to the region annually through its world class trout fishing tourism, supporting local fly shops, fishing guides, and other businesses. The Ausable’s beautiful scenery also attracts paddlers and hikers to the area. To help protect the Ausable River from AIS, the Ausable River Association’s (AsRA) River Steward program performs education and outreach to river users and conducts monitoring aimed at early detection, creating awareness and helping to prevent the spread of invasive species.