Aquatic Invasive Species

 

The Great Lakes region, an expansive and profoundly valuable resource containing over 20 percent of the earth’s surface freshwater and Michigan, hosting 11,000 equally diverse and valuable inland lakes as well as countless miles of rivers, streams and their respective tributaries together form an inter‐connected freshwater ecosystem that is highly sensitive to the adaptive and aggressive characteristics of foreign aquatic invasive species (AIS).

These highly adaptive and aggressive exotic organisms have severely damaged many of our most valuable freshwater resources by destroying native plants and animals and their associated aquatic habitats. Millions of dollars are spent annually by Michigan’s riparian property owners seeking to preserve the recreational and economic value of their respective inland lakes and streams by funding multi‐year projects to manage and control the destructive effects of aquatic invasive species.

 

Michigan Lakes and Streams Association encourages the recreational users of Michigan’s inland lakes and streams to take the first critical step in effectively preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species by learning to identify exotic plants and animals. Early detection followed by the implementation of comprehensive aquatic invasive species management efforts are critical to sustaining the ecological health and recreational viability of our inland lakes and streams. The majority of the aquatic invasive species that have entered Michigan’s inland waters have “hitchhiked” on the boat, motor or trailer of recreational users who use local or state public launches.

You can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants and animals by closely inspecting your boat for aquatic plants and animals and removing them before you launch your boat in another freshwater resource. Michigan Public Act 91 of 2009 has made it illegal to transport aquatic plants (except wild rice) on your boat or trailer.

Your cooperation and compliance is critical in helping to ensure that Michigan’s lakes and streams don’t suffer more aquatic invasive species infestations.

Your association can take steps to control Aquatic Invasive Species through a Special Assessment District, more information is provided here.