Lake Minnetonka Conservation District

Aquatic Invasive Species


Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are plants, animals and pathogens that are “out of place.” A species is regarded as invasive if it has been introduced by human action to a location, area, or region where it did not previously occur naturally (i.e., is not native), becomes capable of establishing a breeding population in the new location without further intervention by humans, and spreads widely throughout the new location.

Humans have created conditions where plants and animals can aggressively invade and dominate water bodies in three ways:

  1. Introducing exotic species (from other regions or countries) who lack natural competitors and predators to keep them in check.
  2. Disrupting the delicate balance of native ecosystems by changing environmental conditions (e.g., stream sedimentation, ditching, removing native plants) or by restricting or eliminating natural processes (e.g., fire). In such instances, even some native plants and animals can become invasive.
  3. Spreading invasive species through various methods. Some examples:
    • Moving watercrafts from waterbody to waterbody without removing invasive plants and animals or draining water;
    • Moving live fish from a waterbody;
    • Releasing live non-native animals and plants into the wild; and
    • Carrying seeds of invasive plants on footwear or pet’s fur.

Controlling invasive species is difficult and costly, and eradicating them is often impossible. Whenever possible, preventing invasive species from arriving in the first place is the best option.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) has been a leader in the management and prevention efforts concerning AIS in Lake Minnetonka. The two main AIS that the LMCD has focused on over the years are Eurasian watermilfoil and Zebra Mussels.   The LMCD has partnered with several agencies to form the AIS Task Force, which evaluate AIS prevention and management techniques.

The LMCD has been involved in three main programs concerning management and prevention of AIS. These include:

There are several things that the individuals should do to prevent the spread of AIS. There are recommendations in a pamphlet titled Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers.

Aquatic invasive Species found in Lake Minnetonka are:

Below are some links with more information concerning AIS.

MN DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Program

MN DNR Page of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Plants

MN DNR Page of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Animals

MN DNR Page of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Diseases

MN DNR List of Infested Waters

MN DNR Approved Commercial Aquatic Pesticide Applicators and Mechanical Control Companies





Lake Minnetonka Conservation District
5341 Maywood Road, Suite 200, Mound, MN 55364
Phone: 952 / 745-0789    Fax: 952 / 745-9085    Email:
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