OHIOPYLE (KDKA) – Rock snot sounds pretty disgusting, but one local river now has it.
Also called didymo, it grows to blanket the bottom of the river like brown soggy toilet paper, snuffing out the organisms that fish feed on.
“Without them, the great trout river that the Youghiogheny is – it won’t be that way in a few years,” Stacie Hall, Ohiopyle State Park assistant director, said.
It was found in the Youghiogheny River last month near Ohiopyle State Park.
“It’s only been found in one location,” Hall said. “We had a sample verified with the National Academy of Sciences on June 1st.”
The Fish and Boat Commission is reminding people to clean their gear to help prevent the spread of it.
Dave Richardson recently moved to this area from Connecticut where rock snot has been an issue for years.
“It’s transmitted by boats, kayaks, waders, shoes, boots, anything, so you really have to make sure you’re clean every time you’re coming in and out of the water and you’re not going from one body of water to the next without cleaning yourself or your equipment,” he said.
Once the rock snot forms, it’s impossible to get rid of in a safe way. It’s native to cooler regions of Europe, Asia and North America.