Curly pondweed attracts the wrath of local anglers when it spreads in Pathfinder Reservoir | Open spaces
Anglers fish for pikeperch on the Alcova reservoir. Tom Durst noticed curly pondweed years ago at a place called Walleye Bay in Pathfinder Reservoir. What happens when it is discovered downstream in the Alcova Reservoir, the Gray Reef section of the river, and finally the Glendo Reservoir, is difficult to say.
Curly pondweed is shown in this undated photo in the Keyhole Reservoir. The plant is and invasive weed.
Curly pondweed is shown in this undated photo in the Keyhole Reservoir
Christine Peterson for the Star Tribune
Tom Durst first noticed the weeds years ago in a place called Walleye Bay in Pathfinder Reservoir. It was green and leafy and made it difficult for him to fish for the pikeperch after which the bay was named.
But it wasn’t until recently that he noticed curly pondweed on a small underwater strip in Pathfinder further north that he always enjoyed fishing. And now he can’t.
“It stops you. It will keep you from fishing shorelines. You can’t jig, ”said Durst, a longtime Casper angler and devoted pikeperch fisherman.
Worse still, the weeds keep spreading.
Curly leaf pondweed is another invasive weed that has found its way into Wyoming. The invasive species hierarchy isn’t as worrying for fisheries managers as zebras or quagga clams, for example, but there is cause for concern, said Matt Hahn, regional fisheries inspector for Wyoming Game and Fish Casper. And that concern grows as the weeds continue to spread. What happens when it is discovered downstream in the Alcova Reservoir, the Gray Reef section of the river, and finally the Glendo Reservoir, is difficult to say. But weeds are another reminder of how quickly and easily a destructive species can enter a body of water and never be removed there.
“The measures we are taking to prevent the introduction of zebra mussels into the state are also effective against other species,” said Hahn. “But it’s important that the people in the state, our local boaters, also understand the risks of going boating with Pathfinder and going to Alcova the next day. They don’t worry about moving zebra mussels, but they could speed up the spread of spawnweed. “