Invasive goldfish, fathead minnows, koi and perch were killed in a rotenone treatment of Heagle Pond in Hailey, ID following illegal dumping of the fish into the Heagle Park pond. In the spring of 2020 Fish and Game received reports of goldfish swimming in Heagle Pond adjacent to Lawrence Heagle Park in Hailey.Read More
Spotted knapweed is an aggressive, introduced weed species from Europe and Asia that rapidly invades disturbed areas and rangeland. It can cause serious decline in forage for wildlife. Spotted knapweed has few natural enemies and is not preferred by wildlife or livestock as forage. The sap of spotted knapweed can cause skin irritation in some people.
Aquatic invasive species are non-native and potentially harmful plants, animals, and other organisms that have been introduced into an area where they do not naturally occur. A functioning ecosystem is said to be in equilibrium, or an ecosystem that returns to equilibrium after some type of disturbance. The introduction of invasive species or some other aquatic invasive species can upset the ecological stability of an ecosystem by causing it to be “out of balance” when invasive species can do things like out compete native species and impact water quality. Invasive species can affect the recreational uses, such as fishing that depend on healthy aquatic ecosystems. Some pathways, or way that invasive species can become established, are also known as "vectors." For example, there are many ways that invasive species can be introduced within the Wood River drainage, which include boats, fisherman, fire suppression activities, and aquarium enthusiasts.
Establishment of aquatic invasive species can have severe implication on the area ecosystem and local economy. The Big Wood River drainage supports a significant guided sport fishery. Depending on the invasive species, it could directly kill fish populations, reduce their food source by impacting the food chain, or alter their habitat by eliminating cover, reducing oxygen, etc. In addition to these ecological impacts, invasive species can ruin boat engines by clogging water intakes, clog water diversion structures used for agricultural irrigation, choked waterbodies making them difficult to recreate in, and leave sharp-edged shells along swimming beaches which can be a hazard to unprotected feet.
An immediate threat to Idaho is the New Zealand mudsnails have been found in Silver Creek. Quagga and zebra mussels which have not yet been detected in waters in our area, but without constant attention to these threats, Idaho could quickly become infested with these mussels.READ MORE