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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native species introduced to an aquatic ecosystem that causes environmental and/or economic harm. 

AIS can cause issues that impact our lakes, streams, and wetlands and are increasingly the focus of Watershed Council monitoring and management programs. Knowing how to identify AIS, how they got here, and what you can do to help prevent them from spreading is important. 

Known Invasive Species In Our Area

Alewife next to a penny


This invasive species competes for plankton and aquatic organisms amongst native lake herring, whitefish, chubs, and perch, which

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Invasive water-primrose species are aquatic plants that can thrive and spread in shallow water areas including wetlands and

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European Frogbit

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, better known as European Frogbit, is an aquatic, invasive species currently spreading throughout the Great Lakes

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Hydrilla is a stocky whorled submergent plant with spiny leaves in whorls of approximately 4-6. It is well

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Killer Shrimp

Killer shrimp is an amphipod native to the Ponto-Caspian region that has recently invaded and spread throughout western

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AIS on our watch list: European Frogbit, Hydrilla, Invasive Carp, New Zealand Mud Snail, Parrot Feather, Red Swamp Crayfish, Water Hyacinth, Brazilian Elodea, European Water Clover, Water Chestnut, Water Lettuce, Water Soldier, Yellow Floating Heart, Northern Snakehead, Marbled Crayfish

What are the impacts of aquatic invasive species?

There are both economic and ecological impacts, both of which are quite serious. Economically, there are losses in tourism, sports-fisheries, industry and more. In Michigan, fishing expenditures alone exceed $800,000,000 per year(1), a figure that could drop substantially as aquatic invasive species disrupt ecosystems and impact fisheries. Losses in the U.S. are estimated at $78.5 billion annually and studies have estimated lost property values on infested water bodies of up to $12,000 per property(2). Ecologically, aquatic invasive species’ impacts include food-web disruptions, native species reduction or loss (and dependent species), water quality degradation, and the introduction of pathogens. Furthermore, ecosystem disruptions and imbalances can result in increased danger to human health.