June 26, 2009

ANS - what lurks in our midst?

ANS - what lurks in our midst?
A look at aquatic nuisance species, problems and prevention
By Patricia Stockdill
They’re out there – lurking in the dark.
Waiting to strike.
Will they rear their ugly faces?
Or won’t they?
No one knows the answer.
However, one thing is certain – if North Dakota’s waters become infested with any potentially serious invasive, non-native aquatic nuisance species (ANS), it means lost dollars and lost natural resources.
It means large dollars and extensive manpower trying to prevent the spread of a preventable problem.
None of which would cure the problem or make it go away.
ANS has already cost the state of North Dakota, its anglers, boating enthusiasts and citizens hundreds of thousands of dollars – a profound amount of money considering the state doesn’t have major infestations.
One only has to look east to neighboring states such as Minnesota, which is trying to deal with Eurasian water milfoil (EWM) in massive proportions in many of its lakes.
ANS covers a broad array of bad things, according to Clark Williams, avid Devils Lake angler and president of N.D. Sportfishing Congress and Lake Region Angler’s Association. It could be an animal – zebra mussels, for example.

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