Buffalo, NY — It's mid-October and the Lake Erie water temperature is still at a near record warmth of 67 degrees on Thursday. The average is just 60 degrees.
The very warm lake water can pose some issues, such as allowing invasive species to set up.
"We see trends in regards to warmer water temperatures," Andrea Locke, with WNY PRSIM and Buffalo State Great Lakes Center, said. "A lot of invasive species that are moving up from the south as the waters are getting warmer, and the introductions of a lot of new invasive species that are now able to establish here in Western New York."
Locke says one of these is the Water Hyacinth.
"This is a species that's very concerning... can exclude light and exclude oxygen because it's taking up all of those nutrients, so can have extreme impacts on fish populations... and everything so we are very concerned about this species as it starts to become more of an issue in this area as it wasn't an issue previously," Locke said. "Over the past 5 years have had 7 new early detections of the species...anytime we get a report of Water Hyacinth... my crew will go out and verify it is Water Hyacinth and then remove all the plants that we find."
Locke says they also need the public's help in what they are calling their seek and destroy mission of this invasive species.
"We don't have the ability to go out and address every individual observation... so we depend very much on citizens... recognize the plants and to remove them on their own and report them on their own," she said.