State agencies say the easiest and most effective thing boaters and fishers can do to prevent spreading the invasive species is cleaning their gear.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The recent confirmation of an invasive species known as “rock snot” in Somerset County has state agencies sending out an alert to fishers and boaters.

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As people prepare to hit the water this Labor Day weekend, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Department of Environmental Protection are reminding fishers and boaters what to do to prevent spreading the invasive alga didymo, or rock snot.

(Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission)

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The state agencies say cleaning gear is the easiest and most effective way to make sure snot rock snot doesn’t spread. “It takes only one live didymo cell to start a new colony of the alga,” a press release said.

The fish and boat commission also recommends allowing equipment to dry for 48 hours before going into new waters. Soaking equipment in dishwashing detergent and hot water for about 20 minutes will also kill rock snot.

Rock snot was recently discovered in Quemahoning Creek downstream of the Quemahoning Reservoir in Somerset County. It doesn’t present a public health hazard but it can cause ecological damage by smothering other organisms that live at the bottom of the riverbed and support the food web for fish.

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It’s called rock snot because of it’s appearance. When squeezed dry, the alga usually feels like cotton or wool.