Aquatic Invasive Species
The Great Lakes have been influenced by ecological changes brought about by aquatic invasive species, such as sea lampreys, alewives, zebra mussels, round gobies, ruffe and white perch. Wisconsin Sea Grant is a leader in research and outreach related to these aquatic nuisance species. Current efforts focus on educating the public about zebra mussels and other invasive species, developing ways to control their spread, reducing their adverse effects, and combining conceptual and analytical tools required to evaluate fishery restoration efforts.


News

Stop the Spiny!
A new and unusual video aims to stop the spread of an aquatic invasive species that's damaging local lakes.  Read more...


Guide Helps Anglers Recognize Invasive Species
A partnership between the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and Wildlife Forever produced this resource to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Read more...


Invasive Species

Invasive Species Fact Sheets
Need to know more about sea lamprey, round gobies or milfoil?  We have detailed information and photographs of many Wisconsin aquatic invasive species. Read more...


Test Your AIS Knowledge
Test your knowledge with this 47-question Invaders of the Great Lakes online quiz. It was developed in conjunction with The Bass Federation.  Read more...


UW-Superior Student Helps Stop Aquatic Invaders
University of Wisconsin-Superior senior Tucker Lindberg is spending the summer at boat ramps on Lake Superior. Although he enjoys being around the water, Lindberg is there for a purpose: to talk to boaters about invasive species and to inspect their boats so that they don’t unwittingly spread unwanted plants or animals to the next lake. Read more...


You Don't Belong Here

Aquatic species out of place create major problems in their new homes. UW Sea Grant's Phil Moy muses on the phenomenon.

Read more...


Tips for Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

Keep new aquatic invasive species out of your favorite body of water by taking these important steps...
Read more...


Watercraft Decontamination

When should you consider decontamination?
Increased time and effort is a drawback to some decontamination methods, but this information will help you determine when you should consider using decontamination methods. Read more...


Decontamination Protocols

Follow these detailed steps to decontaminate your watercraft before your next launch.

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Ballast Water

Ballast Water
Prior to the early 1970s ballast water was less of a concern because our harbors were so polluted. Read more...


Aquatic Invader Attack Packs

Attack Packs: Making Invaders Real
One Madison educator shares her experience with the teaching tool. Read more...


A grab-and-go teaching tool
The Aquatic Invaders Attack Pack is a rucksack filled with materials to help students and other groups learn about Great Lakes aquatic invasive species, the problems they cause, and what can be done about them. Read more...


Chicago Canal Dispersal Barrier

The dispersal barrier is an electronic barrier designed to prevent fish from moving through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is a human-made hydrologic connection between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The dispersal barrier consists of an electric field that does not kill fish but keeps them from crossing. Read more...


Project Updates
The barrier is in place and functioning. Check for updates as they become available. Read more...


Technical and Policy Workgroup and Dispersal Barrier Advisory Panel Meeting Notes and Planning Participants
All meeting notes are available, starting with the first Dispersal Barrier Panel meeting in 2001. Read more...


Photos of the Dispersal Barrier Project
Read more...


Asian Carp Rapid Response Planning & Outreach Meeting Notes
Read more...


Dispersal Barrier Project History

The Canal was constructed in the late 1800s to convey sewage away from Lake Michigan and to provide a navigational corridor between the Illinois River and the Great Lakes. Historically, the water quality of the Canal was so poor that pollution formed a barrier of sorts to the cross-basin transfer of aquatic organisms.

Read more...


Videos

Sea Grant: 50 Years of Science Serving America's Coasts
In 2016, the National Sea Grant College Program celebrates 50 years of working for America's coastal communities. This is a look at some recent regional highlights. Read more...


Beautiful Water Gardens
This is footage for a video on preventing the escape of potentially invasive species from water gardens. This little piece, however, simply celebrates the beauty of these gardens in Verona, Wis. Read more...


Loosestrife for Lunch
Purple loosestrife is an unwelcome invader of wetlands throughout the country. It has no natural predators and displaces native vegetation. And that wipes out habitat for native insects, fish and birds. Two members of the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association are controlling the spread of purple loosestrife with its European native predator. Read more...


What Will Round Gobies Do to Great Lakes Streams?
Using funding provided by University of Wisconsin Sea Grant, UW-Madison ecologist Jake Vander Zanden and UW graduate student Matt Kornis set out to discover just what kind of impact round gobies might be having on streams and rivers. Read more...


"How Many Sport Fish Can Lake Michigan Support?"
An environmental food web is an intricate, organic and delicate thing. That's why researchers have paid such close attention to the food webs in Lake Michigan, where the appearance of several aquatic invasive species has threatened to upset the natural balance. Read more...


Recent Changes in Great Lakes Fisheries
The fisheries specialist at UW Sea Grant, Dr. Phil Moy, explains recent changes in the Great Lakes, which species are at greatest risk, and the threat posed by Asian carp. Read more...


Jumping Carp
Asian carp in the Illinois River near Havana, Ill., jump in response to the noise of a motor or a charge from an electrofishing boat. Read more...


A Message From the Director
Sea Grant Director Anders Andren talks up the program, including its work on aquatic invasive species. Read more...


Part 1: All Washed Up, Lake Michigan's Algae Challenge
The first part of a longer-version video about the increased presence of Cladophora in Lake Michigan. What do invasive mussels have to do with it? Read more...


Part 2: All Washed Up, Lake Michigan's Algae Challenge
The second part of a longer-version video about the increased presence of Cladophora in Lake Michigan. What do invasive mussels have to do with it? Read more...


Quagga Mussels Feeding--Speeded Up 10x
Speeded up 10 times, this video emphasizes that quagga mussels are active animals--much more active than washed up shells on a beach would suggest. Read more...


Who Are the Critters in Your Neighborhood?
Finding out who eats who in Lake Michigan -- and how two tiny water fleas could restructure the food web. Read more...


Science Expeditions 2009
Experience science as discovery through a variety of "exploration stations," including an corral of AIS critters. Read more...


Musseling into Lake Michigan
Zebra mussels make up the Sea Grant display at a public science event. Read more...


Outreach

Asian Carp Research
This is a literature review of current research on the control of the spread of Asian carp throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. The material will then be shared with interested members of the public, resource managers and policymakers. It will identify research gaps that can guide future investigations and management activities. Funding source: Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee through Ohio Sea Grant


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Sea Grant Partnership for Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention
This project continues aquatic invasive species watercraft inspections using six people stationed at Great Lakes boating access sites. It’s a partnership of Sea Grant, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin-Extension. Funding source: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative


Watercraft 101: Helping Inspectors Understand What They’re Inspecting
While the Wisconsin’s Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers guidance of “Inspect, Remove, Drain, Never Move” is easily understandable, it can be more difficult to implement it across the variety of watercraft that Clean Boats, Clean Waters watercraft inspectors encounter. This combined with the fact that some inspectors have never boated can make it a challenge for them to feel confident while at the boat ramp. Building off of lessons learned through a wakeboard boat risk assessment, Sea Grant will create tools that will help inspectors.


Extending Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers to Waterfowl Hunters
The Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker campaign has been very effective at raising awareness on aquatic invasive species (AIS) issues and prevention steps within the recreational boating community. However, some smaller subsets of the boating community, such as waterfowl hunters, haven’t received the same Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers message. Sea Grant will be working with that community to raise awareness and will also evaluate the use of pilot AIS cleaning stations.


Revising the Wisconsin AIS Management Plan
Much has changed since the creation of Wisconsin’s 2003 aquatic invasive species management plan. Since late 2014, Sea Grant has been partnering with the UW-EXT ERC and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to lead an effort to revise the management plan by coordinating a core team of representative stakeholders and working with them to solicit feedback on the draft plan from the public. Implementation of the plan’s objectives will be completed by 2018.


The Wisconsin AIS Partnership
The Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Partnership consists of a wide variety of partners, from state and local government to nonprofits and universities, that are working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and to manage their undesirable impacts. The University of Wisconsin Extension Environmental Resources Center (UW-EXT ERC) has historically managed this partnership by coordinating communications and developing new AIS outreach and training programs for partners. Through a joint position with the UW-EXT ERC, Sea Grant now plays a role in the partnership outreach.


Habitattitude Surrender Collaborative
The illegal release or disposal of unwanted pets and plants into the environment is a pathway of growing frequency and concern in Wisconsin, spreading the presence of invasive species. The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network will create convenient alternatives to releasing or disposing of unwanted pets and plants into the environment through the Habitattitude Surrender Collaborative. This will involve pet stores, nurseries, hobbyist clubs and nonprofit animal rescues. A teacher training will be delivered and K-12 curriculum will be created. Finally, Sea Grant will host a follow-up to the successful 2014 Great Lakes Briefs on Invasive Organisms Traded In Commerce Symposium. (GLRI submitted)



Related Publications

Visit Our Publications Store
For print and downloadable publications about aquatic invasive species, see the AIS section of our publications store. Read more...


Video on AIS
Check out video on Asian Carp and on zebra mussels. Read more...


Wisconsin's Water Library
Wisconsin's Water Library has reading lists on many different topics.  Take a look at the aquatic invasive species reading list. Read more...

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