What are Aquatic Invasive Species?
- Plants, animals and other organisms that have been introduced into an aquatic ecosystem (lake, river, wetland or ocean) where they do not naturally occur
- Lacking natural pathogens or predators that keep them under control in their native habitats
- Spread rapidly and extensively through waterways
- Difficult, if not impossible, to control and can form thick patches over large areas
- Negatively impact biodiversity, species at risk, fisheries productivity, water quality and power generation
TRANSPORT OF INVASIVE SPECIES IS ILLEGAL
Aquatic invasive species are typically introduced and spread by:
- Improper disposal of aquarium water, plants and pets
- Planting invasive species near aquatic and riparian ecosystems
- Attached to boat motors, trailers and recreational gear
What are the impacts of aquatic invasive species?
- Reduce wildlife habitat for nesting, food, cover and breeding
- Alter stream bank vegetation vital to fish spawning habitat and water quality
- Displace native plant and fish species
- Degrade water quality, including lowering levels of dissolved oxygen in water that can lead to fish mortality
- Increase boat repair and maintenance costs, and foul fishing lines and nets
- Impede recreation opportunities including swimming, diving and fishing
- Very costly or impossible to control or eradicate
You can make a difference!!!
- Learn to recognize and identify invasive species
- Clean, Drain, Dry all equipment, boats, motor, trailer, bait buckets and pets of aquatic debris before leaving. Never transport plants, sediment or live bait among bodies of water.
- Do not share or purchase species that are invasive.
- Properly dispose of aquatic invasive plants (dry out, bag and landfill or incinerate).
- Learn to identify aquatic invasive species.
Invasive Species Profiles – Aquatic