HARRISBURG, Pa. — After confirmation of the invasive aquatic algae known as didymo, or rock snot, in Pine Creek, Lycoming County, anglers and boaters are reminded that cleaning their gear is the easiest, most effective means of preventing its spread to other waters.
“Our biologists have not seen any evidence of a full bloom of didymo in the creek or nearby waterways,” Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “This algae does not present a public health risk, but there is an ecological concern in terms of its future potential impact on the health of the waterway.”
In late June, DEP biologists were conducting routine stream monitoring in Pine Creek upstream of Waterville in the vicinity of the Hamilton Bottom Canoe Access Area, a popular recreational destination.
Laboratory analysis of a sample collected using an algal net detected the presence of didymo in the form of microscopic diatoms, a finding confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences.
“We may not be able to eliminate didymo from an infected waterway, but there are easy steps we can take to slow its spread and to prevent it from spreading to other waters,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.
Prior to detecting didymo in Pine Creek, the algae was found in the Youghiogheny River watershed in Fayette County, in the West Branch and main stem of the Delaware River, and in Dyberry Creek in Wayne County.