State officials say a nasty invasive species has been identified in the Champlain Canal and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal.
According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the “spiny water flea” was identified in water samples collected June 12th at two locations by researchers working for SUNY Plattsburgh.
The invasive creature, originally found in Europe and Asia, is notorious for fouling fishing gear, but it also disrupts the natural food chain, often out-competing native fish and organisms.
A researcher with the University of Vermont told the Burlington Free Press that it now appears certain that the spiny water flea will make its way into Lake Champlain.
“Unless we do something to close the canal, it is inevitable,” said fisheries biologist Ellen Marsden.
Spiny water flea is only the latest foreign creature to make its way into North Country waters.
Anglers and boaters are urged to use washing stations to clean their gear and boats before moving between lakes and rivers.