Zebra Mussels Found in Lake Waco

This September, Lake Waco has become th seventh lake in Texas to be infested by zebra mussels. City of Waco employees found suspected zebra mussels on September 26th which were then confirmed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists. 

Brian Van Zee, Inland Fisheries Regional Director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), said, "This recent infestation is very disappointing, because TPWD, the City of Waco and the US Army Corps of Engineers have been working collaboratively for the past couple of years to educate the boating public about the zebra mussel threat."

Thus far, all of the zebra mussels have been located near a single boat ramp. If the population expands throughout the lake, it could impact the City of Waco and their water intake system, as well as the fisheries and aquatic resources in the lake. 

In Texas, it is illegal to possess or transport aquatic invasive species and rules require persons leaving or approaching public waters to drain all water from their vessels and on-board receptacles. 

To learn more about zebra mussels and how you can protect Texas waterways from this threat, visit www.texasinvasives.org/zebramussels.


Image Credit: Larry D. Hodge, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Request zebra mussel outreach materials and SPREAD THE WORD.
TX Invasives Mobile App Update: New invaders and information. 

TX Invasives mobile application users, the Texasinvasives.org team has added new species to the Invasives Database as well as updated information within existing species records. In order to access the most up-to-date information from your mobile device, please refresh your species list. 

To refresh the species list within an Apple iOS device, launch the TX Invasives app with a WIFI connection. From the app home-screen, tap the More Options icon. You will then see four options, please select the Reload Species List button. The app will then download all new updates from the Texasinvasives.org server. 

To refresh the species list within an Android device, launch the app with a WIFI connection. From the app home-screen, tap the More Options icon. Within More Options, choose the Refresh Database button. The app will then download all new updates from the Texasinvasives.org server. 

If you have any issues with this species list update, we are happy to assist. Please email invaders@texasinvasives.org with your request and our team will assist you.  

Follow the link to learn more about the new TX Invasives mobile app


Invasive Spotlight:
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
(Halyomorpha halys)

The brown marmorated stink bug, which came to the United States from Asia, is not only threatening to destroy vegetable crops and orchards where established, but is also causing homeowners to walk around holding their noses. 

Though the majority of its lifecycle is spent outdoors, the insects become a smelly indoor nuisance when the invade homes seeking shelter. As temperatures drop in Texas pests will begin to search for shelter from the winter elements and often end up in homes and other structures. 

Brown marmorated stink bug feeds on Eucommia elmoides, a small tree threatened in the wild in China, which is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Here however, this pest also attacks a variety of fruit and ornamental trees, including peach, pear, apple, plum and mulberry. 

The invasive pest was accidentally imported from Asia into North America in the late 1990s and was first identified in 2001. By 2004, the stink bug was widely identified on farms and forests throughout the mid-Atlantic states, with some growers of sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, applies, and peach reporting total losses that year. 

Since introduction, this pest has rapidly spread across the United States. It has been detected in Texas on multiple occasions, including multiple adults from a camper trailer in September of 2014. 

Follow the link to learn more about brown marmorated stink bug. If you believe you have identified a suspected BMSB, please REPORT IT.
Photo credit: Jeff Wildonger, USDA-ARS-BIIR, IDtools.org

Halymorpha halys distribution by State

Image credit: Stop BMSB, www.stopbmsb.org
More News

Texas A&M Forest Service Urges Caution to Prevent Spread of Oak Wilt Disease
In order to prevent the spread of oak wilt disease, the Texas A&M Forest Service is encouraging citizens to avoid transporting and storing diseased wood as it can spread the devastating oak wilt fungus. By selecting well-seasoned, disease-free firewood and following simple guidelines, homeowners can prevent a new oak wilt outbreak in their neighborhood. Learn more by visiting the Texas A&M Forest Service Newsroom.

Texas Gulf Region Cooperative Weed Management Area Takes to the Street
This September, members of the Texas Gulf Region Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) worked to canvass the streets of Port Aransas to raise awareness of invasive Brazilian peppertree. The CWMA distributed door hangers containing information about the negative impacts of the tree, as well as an invitation to a public open house. Visit the Port Aransas South Jetty to learn more about the event, or visit the Texas Gulf Region CWMA webpage. 
Invasives Go Both Ways: China Loses 200 Billion Yuan Annually Due to Invasive Species

According to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, China is one of the World's top counties in terms of negative impacts and economic damages caused by invasive species. The Chinese government reportedly loses 200 Billion Yuan (equivalent to 32.7 billion US Dollars) to over fifty known introduced species.  Learn more and watch the video report by visiting CCTV English.

Residents in Ohio and Michigan Searching for Emerald Ash Borer Survivor Ash Trees 
Researchers in Michigan are working with landowners to assist with a scavenger hunt in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan where the invasive pest, emerald ash borer has decimated ash trees. Researchers believe that a smaller percentage of native ash trees are naturally resistant to emerald ash borer attack and would like to understand why.  Learn more by visiting Lansing State Journal

Japanese Climbing Ferns Chemically Communicate to Determine Their Sex
A new study from Japan's Nagoya University indicates that Japanese climbing ferns are capable of chemically communicating among themselves to ensure the proper ration of male and female plants. The research indicates that within a given group of ferns, early-maturing female plants emit a chemical that is detected by later maturing plants, causing them to develop into Males. Learn more by visiting Vox.com

Scientists Test New Coatings to Deter Invasive Zebra Mussels
Scientists with the United States Bureau of Reclamation have released a report summarizing six years of testing coatings to control the attachment of quagga and zebra mussels to water and power facilities. The Bureau has tested over 100 coatings and materials since the study began in 2008. This information will be used to develop and deploy solutions to improve water management practices and ensure power generation. Learn more by visiting the USBR Newsroom

City of Waco Approves Zebra Mussel Rapid Response Treatments
Three weeks after zebra mussels were found in Lake Waco, city officials have given permission to use an experimental solution that may help stop the infestation from growing. In a cooperative effort between the Ridgewood Country Club Marine, city, state and federal government officials, large tarps will be deployed to the infested areas and be anchored by sandbags. Learn more by visiting KWTV

Environmental Detectives Use DNA to Track Invasive Species
Across the World, humanity is dealing with the difficult environmental, economic and emotional effects of coping with invasive species. Now, new DNA techniques are allowing scientist to locate, measure and track invasive species. Scientists hope this will lead to better invasive species identification, management and mitigation. Learn more by visiting PRI.org

Texas State University System Renames Institute for the Study of Invasive Species
By request of the Texas State University System Chancellor's Office, the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species (ISIS) has officially undergone a name change. Effective immediately, the institute will now be known as the Texas Invasive Species Institute with the acronym TISI. The Texas Invasive Species Institute will not change it's mission of early detection and rapid response to invasive species, it's team of research scientists or any other duties associated with their former name. Learn more about TISI by visiting tsuinvasives.org

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to iwire@texasinvasives.org.


Citizen Scientists of the Month
Lonnie and Judith Shockley

The Native Plant Society of Texas recognized the Alamo Area Master Naturalists, Lonnie and Judith Shockley on October 18th at the awards ceremony of their Annual Fall Symposium. Lonnie and Judith received the Nancy Benedict Memorial Award, which is presented to an individual or individuals for a specific act of conservation or public service. They received the award for their work with the Invaders of Texas Program. 

The Shockleys have worked tirelessly during the past five years to identify and eradicate invasive plants and to educate individuals and groups as to the negative impacts of invasive plants on native ecosystems. As Texas Master Naturalists and leaders of the Balcones Satellite group of the Invaders of Texas, they have trained over a hundred citizen scientists and written numerous articles about invasive plants. They have inspired more than 150 individuals to donate over 2,700 hours of volunteer hour sin the eradication of more than 32,000 plants in the Greater San Antonio area. With their leadership, the Balcones Satellite has contributed more than 50% of the total volunteer hours eradicating invasive plants in the entire state of Texas. They have shared educational workshops and their accomplishments at three Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council Conferences, acting as a model for the entire state. 

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to iwire@texasinvasives.org.

Image Credit: Robert Kamper, Native Plant Society of Texas. Judith and Lonnie are fourth and fifth from the right.

Image Credit: Robert Kamper, Native Plant Society of Texas. Left to right: Judith Shockley, Cheryl Hamilton, Lonnie Shockley

Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network which serves to increase the awareness of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.

Workshops are tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on Texasinvasives.org designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for more workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Saturday, November 1, 2014
Location: Austin Downtown REI Store (Austin, TX)
Contact: Joanna Wolaver

Friday, November 14, 2014
Location: Jasper Fire Hall (Jasper, TX)
Contact: Sharon Kerr

Saturday, January 17, 2014
Location: High Island Volunteer Fire Department (High Island, TX)
Contact: Richard Gibbons

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Location: Texas Invasive Species Institute (Huntsville, TX)
Contact: Ashley Morgan

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page.