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.

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


Featured Articles

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.
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.
Boat Washing Stations  Palliative or Cure?Boat Washing Stations Palliative or Cure?
Learn about permanent and portable boat-washing stations and the results of case studies attesting to their effectiveness.
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.
Purple Loosestrife: What You Should Know, What You Can DoPurple Loosestrife: What You Should Know, What You Can Do
Purple loosestrife is a very hardy perennial which can rapidly degrade wetlands, diminishing their value for wildlife habitat.

Featured Initiatives

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!
By following simple procedures each time we leave the water, we can stop aquatic hitchhikers.

Check out the new Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers' PSA produced by Brian Gordon, Northwestern College and the catalog of campaign materials produced by Wildlife Forever
Habitattitude
Adopt a conservation mentality. Protect our environment by not releasing unwanted fish and aquatic plants.
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!
AIS-HACCP
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 December 04, 2014     © 1996 – 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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