How Aquatic Species Invade
Invasive species are transported between water bodies in several ways:
- Boat traffic and boat trailers: plant fragments stuck to boats and watercraft, wrapped around motors, trailers and fishing gear and microscopic animal larvae in bilge water can move AIS between water bodies
- Bait or bait buckets: If released into the water, animals used as live bait or accidentally caught in bait buckets can become invasive species
- Aquarium and water garden disposal: pets and plants that are dumped from aquariums or water gardens into natural water bodies may end up taking over their new environments
- Planting: Individuals planting aquatic plants along their property may introduce an invasive species to that water body
- Wildlife: plant fragments or seeds snagged on waterfowl or mammals can spread invasives throughout the ecosystem
- Rivers: streams flowing out of infested lakes can spread AIS downstream throughout the watershed
Preventing the Spread of AIS
Humans are the primary reason for the rapid spread of AIS; it is important that everyone does their part to prevent the further introduction and spread of invasive species.
Steps YOU can take to prevent the spread of AIS:
- Know your surroundings. Be aware of which lakes, ponds and rivers are known to be infested with invasive species; Click here for the RI AIS distribution map
- Recognize the usual suspects. Learn to identify common aquatic invasive species in RI; Click here for a guide to identifying common aquatic invasive species
- Inspect and clean. Examine your boat and trailer before and after any use. Carefully remove any mud, plant or animal material before transporting your boat, gear and equipment.
- Allow time to dry. Clean and dry anything that came in contact with the water (boat, trailers, recreational equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.)
- Isolate and drain. Empty water from boat wells and motors far away from lakes and rivers.
- Discard into trash. Dispose any unused bait into proper garbage receptacles; do not empty bait buckets into the water.
- Prevent releases. Avoid disposing plants, fish or animals from aquariums or water gardens into local water bodies.
- Aquatic Invasive Species
- Aquatic Invasive Animals
- Aquatic Invasive Plants
- RIDEM Response
- New England Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel
- Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
- National Invasive Species Information Center
- USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
- Protect Your Waters
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
- Identification and Management of Aquatic Invasive Species
- Identifying Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species in Rhode Island
- Aquatic Invaders in RI- Findings from DEM AIS Surveys
- Map of AIS in RI
- RI Invasive Species Management Plan
- 2012 RI Lakes Report