The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced this week that it has classified 13 high-risk invasive aquatic plants, fish, and invertebrates as prohibited invasive species.

The DNR says the reason for this classification is to prevent their introduction and spread in Minnesota and to protect the state’s environment, economy, natural resources, and outdoor recreation.

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They also remind the public that it is against the law to possess, import, purchase, transport, or introduce prohibited invasive species. The only exception is if there is a DNR-issued permit for disposal, decontamination, control, research, or education.

The 13 Invasive Aquatic Plants, Fish, and Invertebrates Now Classified As Probibited And The Reasons Why

  • Jumping worms, due to their negative impacts on plants and soils. Jumping worms have been confirmed in some urban Minnesota areas but not most of Minnesota. Listing jumping worms as prohibited invasive species will reduce their spread in Minnesota by making sales of jumping worms illegal. This measure also strengthens regulations so that legally sold worms are not contaminated with any jumping worm species.
  • Non-native common reed reduces biological diversity by crowding out native plant and animal species. It's important to note that the rule does not apply to Minnesota’s native subspecies of common reed.
  • Mitten crabs, Nile perch, snakehead fish, and walking catfish, due to their environmental impacts and for consistency with the federal injurious wildlife species list.
  • Yellow floating heart (an aquatic plant), tench (a fish), golden mussel, and marbled crayfish because all are identified as “least wanted” species by the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force. By adding these regional priority species to Minnesota’s prohibited invasive species list, the DNR hopes it will help prevent their introduction and spread within the state.
  • Golden clams are on the list because they can block water intake pipes and interfere with substrate needed by native species. Populations of golden clams have been found in some Minnesota waters and the goal is to prevent further spread in Minnesota.
  • Tubenose gobies, which are non-native to North America and have the potential for negative impacts. The DNR says the western tubenose goby is already listed as a prohibited invasive species in Minnesota, and several other species in the genus are difficult to distinguish from one another. Listing the genus will help prevent the introduction and spread of other tubenose goby species.
  • Eastern mosquitofish. Eastern mosquitofish have been stocked for mosquito control in other states in the U.S. and have since become invasive in places where they were introduced. While eastern mosquitofish are not known to be in Minnesota, putting them on the prohibited list will reduce the risk that this species will be introduced to the state in the future.

The DNR says the prohibition on 12 of the 13 species listed above is effective immediately, with the publication of the new listings in today’s State Register. Jumping worms will be prohibited invasive species effective July 1, to provide additional time for outreach to businesses and others who the rule change may impact.

Remember, other prohibited invasive species in Minnesota include zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, and silver carp. A complete list is available by clicking the button above.

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