The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week the presence of the invasive algae didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) in the East Branch of the Delaware River.

In addition, based on samples taken near the Route 191 bridge in Hancock, didymo is suspected to be present in the West Branch of the Delaware River as well.

These are the latest recorded incidents of this aquatic nuisance species _ also called "rock snot" _ in the state. Early this summer, didymo's presence was confirmed in a section of the Batten Kill in Washington County.

Didymo cells can produce large amounts of stalk material that forms thick mats on stream bottoms.

DEC officials said the Delaware tailwaters are one of the premier trout fisheries on the East Coast and are a popular destination for large numbers of anglers.

Given the Delaware's proximity to other trout streams, notably the Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek, officials are concerned about the tendency of anglers to fish multiple streams over the course of a day or weekend.

Officials said anglers, canoeists, kayakers, boaters or others who witness or suspect the presence of didymo in state waters are advised to contact DEC with the location so that samples can be taken to document and monitor the algae's spread.

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