Aquatic Invasive Species of the Week!

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality now providing a weekly quick-read on AIS.

A new feature on the website of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is the “Aquatic Invasive Species of the Week” series. Boaters, fishermen and others looking for a quick-reference to increase their (AIS) knowledge can access a colorful one-page fact sheet on a different plant or animal each week.

According to the Water Resource Division of the MDEQ, “These sheets include: species specific characteristics (e.g. leaf type, stems, and flowers), ecological effects, and the status of where they are located in Michigan.” Readers are encouraged to follow the links provided on each sheet and to download and share fact sheets with interested individuals or organizations.

AIS are quiet invaders and require a watchful eye to notice their arrival in a favorite Michigan water body. With 11,000 lakes and 36,000 miles of streams and rivers in our “water wonderland,” we all need to be on the lookout for AIS. And not just for the species that are known to be in Michigan – like Eurasian watermilfoil and Zebra mussel—but for those headed this way like Hydrilla and Northern snakehead.

Michigan is a mecca for boaters from less lake-rich states and with summer in full swing, out-of-state boaters can unknowingly transport AIS. These aquatic hitchhikers come to our waterways via boat hulls, props and trailers. Michiganders who use certain waterways regularly can be proactive by learning more about their native species and how to recognize AIS. Reporting your sightings to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network assists natural resource managers in tracking the movement of AIS across the Midwest.

Another tool in the toolbox is a new Michigan State University Extension publication entitled “A Michigan Boater’s Guide to Selected Aquatic Invasive Plants.” The Boater’s Guide features 11 invasive plants that are either already established in Michigan or are established in neighboring states and pose a threat to Michigan waterways. 

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