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.


Invasive Species

Great Lakes Sea Grant Network 2017 Asian Carp Report
The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and with an introduction by our fisheries and former aquatic invasive species specialist, has released 2017 report identifying the possible impacts of Asian carps establishment in the Great Lakes and what research gaps remain.  Read more...


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...


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

What is Watercraft Decontamination?

Watercraft decontamination involves extra actions beyond "Clean Drain Dry" that are being used to prevent the spread of AIS.

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Legal Guidance on Watercraft Decontamination
The National Sea Grant Law Center provides guidance on liability issues surrounding boat decontamination stations.  Read more...


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
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Asian Carp Rapid Response Planning & Outreach Meeting Notes
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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.

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Videos

Beauty Contained: Preventing Invasive Species from Escaping Water Gardens
If you build water gardens or sell plants and animals for them, please watch this video. It will help you operate an environmentally sound business. Read more...


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...


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...


Outreach

Great Lakes and Mississippi River Regional Coordination
The national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force strives to coordinate activities to prevent and control nonindigenous species within the United States. Six regional panels have been authorized by the task force to plan for, research, control and prevent aquatic nonindigenous species. These include panels for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Sea Grant plays a role on this task force.


Refining Aquatic Invasive Species Communication Techniques
With new invasions, there will be gaps in Wisconsin’s aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention efforts. Different approaches are needed to reach remaining stakeholders with AIS prevention messages and little work is being done currently to determine what techniques are effective. Sea Grant will contribute to this examination of effectiveness.


Closing Aquatic Invasive Species Pathways
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) can enter an environment through a wide variety of pathways. Many pathways have been addressed but others remain. Some are subsets of previously addressed pathways, such as waterfowl hunters or wakeboard boats, while others are rarely exercised but are risky, such as Buddhist animal release. This project will identify and address all pathways.


Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Partnership Coordination
The Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Partnership consists of about 50 AIS professionals across the state who consistently and collaboratively implement programming at the local, regional and state level. Sea Grant helps coordinate this network, investigates information gaps and creates new outreach materials.


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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