Mission: Rock snot
Is didymo in Maine?
Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Vital Signs invite you to be part of Maine’s front line detection effort for didymo! Didymosphenia geminata - also known as didymo or rock snot (eww!) - is a highly invasive colonial diatom (a single-celled algae) that is present in every state and province surrounding Maine. It loves swift moving water favored by fishermen, and has been tracked around the world on the bottom of felt-soled waders.
1. Print the VS species ID card for rock snot and the US EPA's Fact Sheet to learn how to identify didymo
2. Print a Freshwater Species Survey datasheet
3. Go out and look for goo with the texture of wet wool growing on the rocks in your favorite fast-moving stream
4. Add your "found" or "not found" observation through your My Vital Signs page (link at top right)
5. Check out Mission: Analysis to figure out how your observation fits and what it means
Why this Mission Matters
Didymo can form dense mats covering the bottom of rivers and streams, significantly altering the habitat for the native plants and animals. Species like crayfish that prefer rocky bottom habitats, or fish that spawn (reproduce) on rocky bottom stream and riverbeds are particularly harmed. Macroinvertebrates like stoneflies, mayflies, and caddisflies can also be displaced by Didymo.
Didymo has been documented in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Brunswick, Canada, but not yet in Maine. A simple saltwater solution or a thorough drying-out kills it on waders, but eradicating it once it is established is another story.
Want to know and do more?
US Environmental Protection Agency
Didymo has the national government's attention!
Maine’s Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program
Didymo and other invaders on Maine's radar
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Paul says "Just say no to didymo!"
VS blog: LL Bean boot design overhaul
Rock snot has lost a favorite vector!