Native aquatic plants and animals play important roles in healthy lake ecosystems. Some non-native species, though, can cause harm.
The City of Eden Prairie has teamed up with the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to conduct watercraft inspections on our popular lakes in an effort to prevent the further spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in our state.
What are Aquatic Invasive Species?
AIS include any non-native plant or animal species, as well as any microscopic organisms such as diseases cause ecological harm to the native aquatic life or economic harm by leaving water bodies undesirable for fishing or recreation. Common AIS in the metro area include Eurasian Water Milfoil, Zebra Mussels, Curlyleaf Pondweed, Purple Loosestrife and common carp.
Why are Aquatic Invasive Species bad?
Any new, non-native species do not have natural predators as a control; this may result in a population explosion in lakes or streams. They can spread rapidly, and eventually start to negatively impact the native plant and animal life. Not only do AIS impact the aquatic life, they affect the local wildlife surrounding the body of water as well.
What can you do to help prevent the spread of AIS?
- Clean your watercraft, trailer and equipment before leaving a lake. Clean visible plant and animal species, as well as mud.
- Drain your boat by pulling the drain plug and leaving it out. Drain your ballast tanks, live well and bait containers.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. Don't release it into a water body. If you want to keep live bait, drain the container and refill it with bottled or tap water.
- Dry watercraft and trailer after removing from a water body for five days
If you suspect you've found AIS, take a photo, note the date and location, and contact the City's environmental coordinator.
For more information about AIS, visit dnr.state.mn.us/invasives.