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:
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.