The spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species, has been confirmed in the Great Sacandaga Lake by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
This DEC officials said this confirmation marks the first time the spiny water flea has been confirmed in an inland body of water. It had previously been identified in the Great Lakes.
"Unfortunately, another invasive species has spread in the waters of New York state," said Steve Sanford, chief of DEC's Office of Invasive Species. "We are doing our best to alert fishermen, boaters and all users of New York waters to the presence of the spiny water flea and to promote practices that minimize the spread of theses non-natives."
Native to Eurasia, the spiny water flea is a crustacean that can have a major impact on aquatic life because of its rapid reproduction rates. In warmer water, the spiny water flea can hatch, grow to maturity, and lay eggs in as few as two weeks. Sometimes its eggs can remain in a dormant state for years before hatching, making tracking it and limiting its spread difficult.
Spiny water fleas were first found in Lake Huron in 1984 and in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario a year later.
It is not known how or when they were introduced into Great Sacandaga Lake, thoguh DEC officials specualted the adult, larvae or eggs may have been brought in by bait bucket, bilge water, live well, boat, canoe, kayak, trailer or fishing equipment.