Biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of didymo in Big Hunting Creek, one of Maryland’s best known trout streams. Didymo, also known as “rock snot”, is an invasive form of algae that affects trout streams in the Northeast.
According to DNR staff, didymo was not present above or below Frank Bentz Pond or upstream from the Joe Brooks Memorial and no didymo was found in Little Hunting Creek.
In Maryland, didymo was first discovered in Gunpowder Falls in Baltimore County in early 2008. In 2009, the invasive algae was found in the lower Savage River.
Didymo prefers cold, fast-flowing waters and rocky stream bottoms. Once established, didymo can bloom and cover the entire stream bottom from bank to bank with a brownish-gray mat that grows long, grayish-white strands.
Officials from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources have urged anglers help stop the spread of didymo to other trout waters. Anglers should remove mud and debris from their boots before entering and soon after leaving streams and use wader wash stations to clean their boots in saltwater (from the soles to the knee) before heading off to another body of water.
If a wader wash station isn’t available, anglers can disinfect their boots at home. Letting boots and gear dry thoroughly for at least 5 days between fishing trip will also kill didymo cells.
To help stop the spread of didymo and other water-borne organisms, the use of felt-soled boots was banned in all Maryland waters effective March 22, 2011.
source: MD DNR