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Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

Aquatic Invasive Species…

  • Are non-native plants, animals, and pathogens
  • Live primarily in water
  • Thrive in a new environment
  • Cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health

Thanks to the statewide cooperation of citizens, recreationalists, tourism industries, businesses, and agencies, less than 1% of Minnesota's waters are infested with AIS like zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil. With 15,000 lakes, thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and acres of wetlands to protect, Minnesotans recognize the importance of acting to prevent and slow the spread of the state's current and potential AIS.

Public awareness and actions are essential to preventing the spread of AIS spread. Through research and public education, Minnesota Sea Grant is working to curtail the spread of AIS and manage existing invaders more effectively.

100 non-native species are reportedly living in Lake Superior and its wetlands.

Featured Content

The Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! PhenomenonThe Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Phenomenon
Find out how two Minnesotans helped to create a campaign that has slowed the spread of aquatic invasive species across the nation.
A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lakes RegionA Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lakes Region
This 20-page, waterproof, pocket-sized guide highlights harmful aquatic invasive fish found in the Great Lakes Region.
A Field Guide to Aquatic InvadersA Field Guide to Aquatic Invaders
This guide is designed to help water recreationalists recognize these exotics and help stop their further spread.
Surrender Now!Surrender Now!
Minnesota Sea Grant raised awareness about aquatic invasive animals and helped over 100 aquarium pets find new homes. Find out how!
What the Carp? Clearing up the Carp Nomenclature ConfusionWhat the Carp? Clearing up the Carp Nomenclature Confusion
Intern Ryan wanted to know why, in Minnesota, the collection of carp species formally known as "Asian Carp" are now called "Invasive Carp." Here's the answer.
Invasive Species: Time to Change Our WaysInvasive Species: Time to Change Our Ways
The Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference 2014 made it clear that society needs to rethink invasive species management strategies and policies.
Big Snails, Small PondBig Snails, Small Pond
Chinese mystery snails are fouling a Duluth pond. You didn't put them there, did you? Help stop the spread of invasive species.
Zebra Mussels Threaten Inland Waters: An OverviewZebra Mussels Threaten Inland Waters: An Overview
Zebra mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes in 1988. Within one year, zebra mussels colonized nearly every firm object in Lake Erie. Zebra mussels quickly spread to all the Great Lakes.
Sea Lamprey: The Battle ContinuesSea Lamprey: The Battle Continues
Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) have caused significant damage to the Great Lakes. Learn about sea lamprey, their impacts on the fishery and various methods that have proven remarkably successful in controling sea lamprey populations over the years.
Rusty Crayfish: A Nasty InvaderRusty Crayfish: A Nasty Invader
Rusty crayfish have invaded portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario, and many other areas.
Round Gobies Invade North AmericaRound Gobies Invade North America
The round goby was discovered in the St. Clair River, the channel connecting Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair, in 1990. Since then, they have been found in the Great Lakes and are increasingly threatening navive species and ecosystems.
Ruffe: A New Threat to Our FisheriesRuffe: A New Threat to Our Fisheries
The ruffe (pronounced rough), is a small but aggressive fish species native to Eurasia. It was introduced into Lake Superior in the mid-1980s in the ballast water of an ocean-going vessel.

Featured Initiatives

Clean-Drain-Dry-Dispose CD3Clean-Drain-Dry-Dispose CD3
Minnesota Sea Grant Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator Doug Jensen served as a 2017 technical advisor for the Clean-Drain-Dry-Dispose CD3 boat-cleaning station program. The CD3 stations make it easy for boaters to clean their boats, motors and trailers after a day on the water and thereby reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species. Minnesota Sea Grant supports CD3 and other educational efforts aimed at encouraging boaters to help Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!TM
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!
By following simple procedures each time we leave the water, we can stop aquatic hitchhikers. Check out the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers' PSA produced by Brian Gordon, Northwestern College and the catalog of campaign materials produced by Wildlife Forever.
Adopt a conservation mentality. Protect our environment by not releasing unwanted fish and aquatic plants.

> Adopt a Habitattitude Curriculum
St. Louis River Quest
Each May over 1,000 Duluth-Superior 6th graders board the Vista Star to learn about the estuary and the people who work there. Celebrated 20 years in 2012!
Aquatic Invasive Species – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (AIS-HACCP) is a method to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species via aquaculture, fish stocking, wild baitfish harvest and resource management, research, and enforcement activities.
Aquatic Invasive Species & Water Gardening
Information and materials to help water gardeners prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Interactive AIS Quiz
Test your knowledge with 20 questions about Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Superior.

See Also

AudioAIS Audio
Collection of AIS audio.
VideoAIS Videos
Collection of AIS videos.
Resources for EducatorsResources for Educators
Minnesota Sea Grant offeres a variety of materials you can use in your classroom to enable learning about and understanding aquatic invasive species.
Minnesota Invasive Species Conference 2008
We co-chaired and sponsored this first annual conference in Duluth in an effort to help protect Minnesota's legendary lands and waters.

This page last modified on March 13, 2018     © 1996 – 2019 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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