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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Penn State Extension Assists in
Trout Release Educational Program

Penn State Extension Water Resource Educator, Jim Clark, led a workshop on aquatic invasives for 69 McKean County Students on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at Wildcat Park near Kane, PA. The high school students came to the park to release trout into local streams. These trout were raised in their classroom aquariums.

Clark’s talk explained to the students that normally humans should never release anything into the water bodies of Pennsylvania. Millions of dollars are spent each year trying to control or eradicate invasive species in the United States. Many of these invasives were introduced by gardeners, for example the giant hogweed and purple loosestrife plants. Many exotic plants and fish that were released from unwanted aquariums or escaped into the wild are now invasives in ponds and lakes. The state of Florida has problems now with an over population of python snakes in the wild, that are believed to have been started from aquarium pythons, that became too big and were released into the wild.

The students were reminded that during the summer it is important to clean your boat and fishing gear before moving from one water body to another. A one inch fragment of some aquatic weeds can repopulate an entire pond or lake. Humans are the main spreaders of aquatic invasives, so it is up to everyone that uses these recreational areas to protect them from invasives.

Much more information is available on this topic by visiting the PA Sea Grant webpage at and searching for “aquatic invasives”.

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