Aquatic invasive species are plants, animals, and other organisms that are not native to Indiana waters and have the potential to cause harm. These species are concerning because they outcompete native species, threaten human health, change and degrade the ecosystem, and/or require intense maintenance and monitoring.
Most invasive species find their way to Indiana through human behaviors. Modern transportation brings goods including invasive species from all around the world in a matter of hours or days. Some exotic pets or plants used in aquariums or water gardens escape into the wild and if they are adapted to Indiana’s conditions, they can become invasive. Boats and ships moving from waterbody to waterbody can spread invasives. Some invasives were brought to the U.S. intentionally as bio-controls for other invasives; others were introduced as game or food species.
Invasive species can be very expensive or impossible to control. For instance, Indiana spends an estimated $1 million per year in public waters to chemically control Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive water plant that can shade out native species and interferes with boating and fishing. The damage to sport fisheries and commercial resources from AIS can be serious.
A long-term plan was developed to address ecological and economic impacts of aquatic invasive species invasions in the waterways of Indiana and their potential threat to Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Ohio River basins.
- Find information about specific aquatic invasive plants
- Find information about specific aquatic invasive invertebrates
- Find information about specific aquatic invasive fish.
- Find information about specific aquatic invasive pathogens and diseases
Learn how to stop aquatic hitchhikers.