What is an Aquatic Invasive Species?
An Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is a living organism, which resides in a body of water like rivers, lakes, and swamps, and is not native to that specific area.
Why are they there?
Human Activities!! Either by the:
Intentional relocation of plants like buckthorn and Purple loosestrife as garden plants. Seeds escape the nurseries and are carried by wind, water and animals to new bodies of water.
Unintentional relocation of plants and animals by seeds, animals, and eggs being carried into minnesota waters by attaching to:
- boat hulls
- commercial goods
- packing materials
- footwear and clothing
- and in the ballast water in large ships
Why are they important?
- Fast growth to maturity
- Rapid reproduction
- Adaptability to large range of climates, conditions, and food sources
- Few to no natural predators or diseases in new area
- Compete with similar native species for food and space
This combination results in the loss of biological diversity as native species are being pushed out.
They also impact by manipulating the habitats and resources where they reside, which affect other native species beyond the direct competitors. For example, Purple loose strife is not a suitable food source or nesting ground for wetland animals.
Aquatic invasive species manipulate shorelines reducing property value, costing landowners and management agencies millions of dollars each year.
Species like zebra mussels, faucet snails, and New Zealand mud snails clog irrigation pipes (bottom left), and attach to boat hulls and propellers reducing efficiecy (bottom left).
Current and Threatening AIS in Cottonwood County
- Purple Loosestrife (Current) right. In the early 1990's the first DNR budgeting for aquatic invasive species was established for the use of controlling purlple loosestrife. Most effective method currently in use is a bio-control method.
- Curly leaf pondweed (Current) left. Methods of control are controversial as many chemicals used have potential negative sideeffects on the ecosystem as a whole, biocontrol method is risky and forbidden by the Minnesota DNR, and mechanical can't keep up with the growth rate.
What can we do about them?
- Recognize that Aquatic Invasive Species are a real problem to Minnesota and Cottonwood County.
- Study which lakes in your area are clean and which are marked as Infested waters. Here's an interactive map of minnesota showing current infested waters and what is currently in the lakes. provided by Minnesota Public Radio.
Follow Regulations and Laws
By following the regulations put out by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, you can help reduce the risk of continued invasive species spread.
- Clean - plants, zebra mussels, and other invasive species off of watercraft and trailer before leaving water access.
- Drain - all water related equipment, keep drain plugs out.
- Dispose - unwanted bait into the trash, bait that has been put into bottled or tap water prior to visiting the lake may be taken without draining
AIS News Update
DNR aquatic invasive species training and trailer decal repealed; affirmation passedJune 24, 2015 at 1:01 pm
Cracking down on invasive species and keeping people safe on the water in Detroit Lakes on Jun 27, 2015
Lakeshore devices to record video of boaters, give audio reminders on AIS rules on Jun 24, 2015 of the Grand Forks Herald
Invasive carp moving up St. Croix River on Jun 2, 2015 of the Duluth news Tribune
AIS in the Media 2016
Linder's Angling Edge Commercial