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Exotic Fish Identification Cards Available for Great Lakes Anglers

photo of carl richards being interviewed

Carl Richards, Sea Grant researcher with the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, was interviewed by FOX-TV Network (Cleveland) reporter Dave Summers in April about the problems ruffe pose.

The University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program recently reprinted two popular wallet-sized cards to aid anglers in identifying two exotic fish found in the Great Lakes, the round goby and the Eurasian ruffe. These free cards describe why these fish are considered a problem, explain how to identify them, and describe what anglers should do if they find them. The water-resistant cards were designed with fishing in mind and are small enough to fit in a tackle box, wallet, or pocket.

“We designed these cards especially for anglers because they are often the first to find exotic fish,” said Doug Jensen, Minnesota Sea Grant Exotic Species Information Center Coordinator. “Wild baitfish harvesters, researchers, and fishery managers should also be on the look-out.”

Anyone who catches a round goby or a ruffe is urged not to throw it back alive. They should kill the fish by freezing and, if they are in a location of concern indicated on the card, contact Sea Grant, a state or provincial natural resource management agency, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Over 280,000 cards were produced jointly with 16 state and federal agencies around the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. Customized versions were printed for Ohio, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Ontario. Because regulations vary, each contains a slightly different message regarding possession or transport of these exotic fish. Cards will be distributed through bait shops, marinas, public events, associations, environmental education organizations, and natural resource management offices.

Single cards are free. Individuals or organizations wishing to obtain cards should contact their state Sea Grant office, state or provincial natural resource management agency. Minnesota cards can be ordered on our publications page and our order form, under the exotics category (items X13 and X36).

For more information about exotic species, contact Doug Jensen at 218.726.8712, or by e-mail.

By Sea Grant Staff
June 1998

Return to June 1998 Seiche

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