Whether it's seaweed or the slicker-than-slick algae that form on boat launches, Michigan water presents a variety of sensations, from 'icky toe' to slipping and falling flat on your butt while launching your boat. However, while some algae are native to Michigan, others, like Didymo (pronounced Diddy-Mo), have arrived from other states and could potentially change our water's ecosystem for the worse.

Related: Michigan DNR Invasive Species Watchlist: Northern Snakehead

If you've never heard of Didymo, here's a brief overview of this invasive species and how it could potentially blanket entire waterways in Michigan.

How to Identify 'Didymo' in Michigan's Water

MontanaFWP via YouTube
MontanaFWP via YouTube

If you're wading through a slow-moving stream and come upon what looks like wet wool clinging to the rocks, that's Didymo. It comes in different forms, from small patches to thick blankets, which have earned it the nickname "rock snot." But here's the kicker: It's not slimy.

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Should you stumble upon Didymo in Michigan, please don't just shrug it off. Report it through the Eyes in the Field online system by snapping a picture, note the location as best you can, and let the experts handle it from there.

The Danger Presented By Didymo's Presence in Michigan Waters

MontanaFWP via YouTube
MontanaFWP via YouTube

Didymo isn't just a nuisance; it's a menace. Given the right circumstances, it can form thick mats that upend the existing habitat and choke out food sources. The most considerable risk is that there is no practical way of eliminating it to date.

Related: This Invasive Creature Will Destroy Michigan! See It, Squish It!

That doesn't mean we need to give Didymo free reign to spread across Michigan. Anglers, swimmers, and boaters alike can help stop it from blanketing the state by following the mantra: Clean, Drain, and Dry. Whether it's your waders, boots, or fishing gear, make sure to scrub them before wearing them in a different body of water. Avoid using the same equipment in multiple waterways on the same day if possible.

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