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Hydrilla Survey Project

Hydrilla: The Hunt is on in Ohio


Recognized as one of the world’s worst weeds, Hydrilla verticillata has a devastating impact on freshwater resources. Our desirable native aquatic plants, sport fishing, native wildlife, waterfront property values, and recreational uses might all be seriously impacted should Hydrilla spread. 

The photos below illustrate how dense hydrilla can grow in a very short period of time: just 18 days elapsed between the two photos!

 

Hydrilla in Stonington, CT (EDDMapS.org)
Hydrilla in Stonington, CT (EDDMapS.org)
Hydrilla in Stonington 18 days later! (EDDMapS.org)
Hydrilla in Stonington 18 days later! (EDDMapS.org)

The perfect water weed


Hydrilla can grow in all of Ohio’s freshwater habitats. It is capable of reproducing in many ways: from small fragments to subterranean tubers that can survive for years in little water. It is costly and frustrating to remove.  It has been detected in three major watersheds (Chagrin, Cuyahoga, Rocky) and we would like to stop its spread before it enters into Lake Erie.
Hydrilla can grow an inch per day and form dense mats of vegetation at the water’s surface. In 2011, Hydrilla was discovered in Cleveland Metroparks. Our desirable native aquatic plants, sport fishing, native wildlife, waterfront property values, and recreational uses might all be seriously impacted should Hydrilla spread.

distribution-map

Current distribution – Where Hydrilla has been detected
Outreach and education efforts, coordinated with Cleveland Metroparks, Crooked River CWMA, and Ohio Sea Grant seek to engage the Lake Erie Watershed in Ohio so that others may identify and report Hydrilla sightings.  A particularly vulnerable area is the shallow, nutrient-dense Western Basin of Lake Erie. 

Additional information on this website:

How can I help?
Hydrilla Identification – additional resources
Report  suspected Hydrilla infestations
Ohio’s Hydrilla Task Force


iNaturalist – Add observations as an iNaturalist user

The Hydrilla detection and rapid response program is coordinated by the Cleveland Metroparks with support from the Crooked River Cooperative Weed Management Area. The United States Environmental Protection Agency funded this project.