Prevention is the best defense

Grand County, Colorado with its plethora of water bodies and the fondness of its residents for water-based activities, should be aware of the Aquatic Invasive Species and take steps to prevent their ingress and spread.

Aquatic invasive species are marine, estuarine or freshwater creatures like mollusks, etc. which invade ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range. Besides causing economic and environmental damage they also detrimentally affect our natural resources by permanently degrading the habitats they invade, hindering economic development, reducing or eliminating recreational and commercial activities, decreasing the aesthetics of our environment, and serving as carriers of diseases

Grand County, Colorado with its vast areas of water bodies, needs to be extremely cautious to prevent the ingress of these parasites, and follow the rules and regulations laid down by the authorities for water vehicles inspection and other routine regulations related to the same.

With the advent of the boating season, one ramp has reopened at Lake Granby, some may be getting an early start to the summer season adequate precautions are expected from all stakeholders in Grand County, Colorado to keep this scourge at bay. Each and every resident of Grand County, Colorado can make a difference in the fight against invasive species by learning about how to prevent their introduction and movement.

These parasitic and invasive species affect ecosystem structure and function, resulting in a loss of biodiversity or unique habitats.

Invasive species can possibly:

– Outcompete and displace native species
– Cause dramatic shifts in trophic dynamics, food web structure, and species abundance
– Cause local extinction of species
– Cause large-scale mortality of trees and shrubs
– Reduce the value of timber and agricultural crops and their associated products
– Alternate ecosystem processes
– Modify the provision of ecosystem services
– Alternate gene pools through hybridization with native species
– Alter carbon and nitrogen cycling, water use, and soil properties
– Reduce the potential of recreationally hunted and fished species
– Diminish habitat aesthetics
– Alter water chemistry
– Host pathogens and parasites harmful to fish and other aquatic species

Steven Smith