This article was featured in the 2023 Winter Newsletter by Brittney Rogers-SLELO PRISM.

2022 Connected Waters eDNA Project

In 2022, SLELO PRISM and APIPP collaborated to expand environmental DNA sampling occurring in SLELO PRISM into the Adirondack region. The results from this project have allowed us to improve our understanding of aquatic invasive species distribution and enhance our aquatic early detection work. Sampling sites were selected based on the most highly probable areas to encounter new invasive species introductions or experience the spread of invasive species that are present in other regions. The sampling protocol followed the 2021 protocol developed by SLELO PRISM and The Nature Conservancy. A total of 66 sampling sites were selected, with over 150 samples collected in total. A project report will be available on our eDNA webpage this spring.

Primary Sampling Sites:

  • Black River and adjacent watershed (14)
  • Oswegatchie River and adjacent watershed (11)
  • Grasse River and adjacent watershed (11)
  • Raquette River and adjacent watershed (12)
  • St. Regis River and adjacent watershed (12)
  • Eastern Lake Ontario Continued Sites (3)
  • Species Specific Sample Sites (3)



Primary Species:

  • Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • Northern snakehead (Channa argus)
  • Tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris)
  • Tench (Tinca tinca)
  • Rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)
  • Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Carolina fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)


The 2022 steward program operated Memorial Day Weekend and continued beyond U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Our co-administrator, TILT,   hired 12 stewards who staffed nearly 30 launches to engage the public, specifically boaters and anglers, on how to look for and remove aquatic invasive species from their boating and fishing equipment.

During this time, our 12 stewards conducted over 13,500 surveys with 95% compliance with an inspection. Over 28,000 people were engaged by stewards, many receiving educational materials while the stewards inspected 13,375 watercraft.

Stewards intercepted 1,110 AIS in 2022. The most common AIS included Eurasian watermilfoil (475), curly-leaf pondweed (408) and zebra mussels (120). Stewards also intercepted species including water chestnuts. round goby, European frog-bit, and Spotted Lanternfly among others. The busiest launches staffed by stewards in 2022 were Massena Dam Intake, Lake Bonaparte, Delta Lake, and Wrights Landing.

Visit our website for more information about watercraft inspection, the 2022 annual report, and for more information on how to become a steward for the 2023 field season, positions will be opening soon!

We would like to acknowledge the support of the following municipalities and organizations for having stewards staffed at their launches. Your support is invaluable to the success of this program.

City of Fulton
City of Ogdensburg
City of Oswego
City of Rome
New York Power Authority
NYSDEC R6 Fisheries
NYSDEC R6 Forestry
NYSDEC R6 Wildlife
NYSDEC R7 Fisheries

Town of Cape Vincent
Town of Henderson
Town of Massena
Village of Clayton
Village of Heuvelton
Village of Phoenix
Village of Sackets Harbor

Wrights Landing Marina


For more information on these or other aquatic restoration and resiliency projects please reach out to Brittney Rogers at

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