Ann and I both have experienced falls or near falls in Goose Creek this past week. The rocky bottom has become coated with an invisible film of slimy algae. Thankfully, it is NOT didymo.
But it might well be, if local fishermen are not aware of the risk of spreading “rock snot” from nearby states (here’s an account from PA) or the three infested cold-clear trout waters in Virginia that have become victim to this slimy, rapidly-spreading diatom.
It seems the chief agent of spread is the felt in the boots of stream fishermen. Felt is being banned as a necessary loss of freedom we give up to keep Goose Creek, the Little River, the New River free of this aesthetically–but more importantly–biologically damaging invasive.
The single cells of didymo can also stay in wet clothes from a fishing or other stream-side activity. Follow these guidelines before you go back to the creek or river.
Tell your fishing friends about didymo.