WW-06946 Reviewed 2008
Preventing the Introduction of Exotic Species
Shoreland Best Management Practices
Number 15 of 18 in the Series
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are actions you can take to reduce your impact on the environment. BMPs have been described for agriculture, forest management, and construction. This fact sheet describes BMPs you can adopt on your shoreland property to help protect and preserve water quality. In many cases, the best management for shorelands may be retaining the natural characteristics of your property.
Today, "exotics"-the term for organisms that have been introduced into areas where they are not native-are considered to be among the most severe, worldwide agents of habitat alteration and degradation. They are a major cause in the continuing loss of biological diversity throughout the world. They have caused extinction of some native species. Exotic species can be thought of as "biological pollutants."
Moving plants or animals, accidentally or intentionally, from one habitat into another where they have never been before is risky business. In the absence of predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors from their native habitat, species introduced under favorable conditions will often overrun their new home and crowd out important native species. Once established, exotics can rarely be eliminated.
There are many BMPs you can adopt as an individual to minimize the spread of aquatic exotic plants and animals:
Aquatic exotic species that are causing particular concern in Minnesota today are shown below. Other exotics of concern are the common carp, sea lamprey, rusty crayfish, white perch, flowering rush, and curly leaf pondweed. Species are not drawn in correct proportion to each other.
Size: 1/4 to 2 inches
Eurasian Water Milfoil
Leaflet: 1/2 life size
Size: 2 to 5 inches
SizeL 2 to 12 inches
Size: 3/8 inch
Size: 2 to 7 feet
regional offices of MN State agencies:
Zebra Mussel WATCH Citizen Network Guide. Early Detection of Adult Zebra Mussels. Available from Sea Grant.
A Field Guide to Aquatic Exotic Plants and Animals. Available from DNR or Sea Grant.
Exotic Species Information. A resource list of publications and videos. Available from Sea Grant.
Mussel Menace! Zebra Mussels and You. Leader training manual, videotape, and slide-audiotape set. Available from Sea Grant.
Clean Boats, Clean Waters: Exotic Species Handbook. Available from DNR.
This fact sheet is one of a series designed to assist shoreland property owners in protecting and preserving water quality. The series includes:
This series of fact sheets is a cooperative effort of the following agencies:
University of Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota
College of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota
Water Plan Coordinators of the Arrowhead counties
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife,
Division of Waters, Division of Forestry
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Program
Mississippi Headwaters Board
St. Louis County Health Department, Environmental Services Division
Soil and Water Conservation Districts of the Arrowhead counties
Natural Resources Conservation Services
Environmental Protection Agency
Western Lake Superior Sanitary Districtbr
These publications may be photocopied for local distribution. The addition of commercial names, products, or identifiers is not permitted. please do not add or delete any text material without contacting:
You may add information about contact persons or regulations specific to your county, region, or lake association.
University of Minnesota Extension Store 20 Coffey Hall 1420 Eckles Ave St Paul, MN 55108-6069 612-625-8173
Produced by the Arrowhead Water Quality Team, a cooperative effort of Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis counties and state and federal agencies. All publicly funded agencies involved are committed to equal opportunity education, service, and employment.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact your University of Minnesota Extension office or the Extension Store at (800) 876-8636.