At the most basic level, aquatic invasive species are water-dwelling organisms that are not native to Minnesota. The impacts of aquatic invasive species vary. While some invasive species cause damage to ecosystems, others can cause human or economic harm.
Priority Species List
Every year at MAISRC, we review the aquatic invasive species that should be prioritized for research. We identify the invasive species that are currently in Minnesota, or are in areas immediately adjacent to Minnesota, and are likely to cause significant damage. A species may be considered as high-priority if there are key uncertainties that prevent researchers/managers from developing effective prevention or management/control programs.
Every other year, MAISRC systematically identifies research needs related to these high-priority aquatic invasive species in order to direct research efforts and investments to the state’s greatest needs. Learn more about our Research Needs Assessment process. View the Priority Species list as a PDF.
2022-2023 Priority Species List:
Species evaluated but not selected: Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), Fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus), Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), White perch (Morone americana), Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), Tubenose goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus), Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis), Tench (Tinca tinca), Swamp eel (Monopterus albus/Amphipnous cuchia), Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), Northern snakehead (Channa argus).
|Common name||Impacts||Click photo to learn more|
Viral hemorrahagic septicemia virus
|As the name describes, the virus can cause internal and external bleeding which in severe cases leads to organ failure and death.||
|Also known as 'rock snot,' didymosphenia geminata alters stream ecology by forming dense algal blooms that can cover up to 100 percent of stream bottoms.||
Asian Fish Tapeworm (AFT)
|Asian fish tapeworms parasitizes freshwater fish. The adult worm is an intestinal parasite in fish. Asian Fish Tapeworms can be spread by commercial carp and baitfish operations, such as grass carp pools, or Fathead Minnows or Golden Shiners. Fish infected with Asian Fish Tapeworms have been shown to have reduced ability to cope with stressors such as food availability.|
|Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV)||Largemouth bass virus (LMBV) is primarily a virus of largemouth bass, but more recently has been confirmed to also cause significant disease in smallmouth bass.|
|Chytrid fungus||Chytrid fungus is known to feed on living vertebrates. It primarily affects the skin of amphibians, causing the disease known as amphibian chytridiomycosis.||
|In infected salmonids, the disease caused by M. cerebralis can result in whirling behavior or tail-chasing; damage to the central nervous system and organs of equilibrium; lesions in the skull, gills, and vertebrae; and sometimes mortality (Mills et al. 1993; Crawford 2001; Gilbert and Granath 2003; Krueger et al. 2006).|
Bacterial kidney disease (BKD)
|Symptoms of BKD can include: abdominal fluid build-up and swelling; pseudomembranes on viscera; kidney and gill necrosis; hemorrhaging on viscera and in intestines; ulcers or abscesses in muscles; protruding eyeballs; anemia; blood blisters; and lesions of the eyes, liver, spleen, and heart (Austin and Austin 1987; Holey et al. 1998).|
Species evaluated but not selected: Aeromonas salmonicida, Bass tapeworm, Clostridium botulinum, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, Dermal sarcoma, Lymphocytis, Lymphosarcoma, Myofibrogranuloma, Neascus, Tilapia Lake Virus, Piscirickettsia salmonis, carp edema virus (CEV), Spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV), Cyprinid Herpes Virus-3 (CyHV-3), Rickettsia-like organisms (RLOs), Ovipleistophora ovariae (Ovi-O), Heterosporis, Novel Aipenserid herpesvirus
Aquatic invasive invertebrates
Species evaluated but not selected: Fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi), Chinese mysterysnail (Cipangopaludina chinensis malleata), Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir spp.), Common waterfleas (Daphnia lumholtzi), Banded mysterysnail (Viviparus georgianus), Caspian mud shrimp (Chelicorophium curvispinum).
Aquatic invasive plants
Species evaluated but not selected: Water hyacinth (Eicchornia crassipes), Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa), Dwarf hygrophila (Hygrophila polysperma), African elodea (Lagarosiphon major),Water clover (Marsilea), Watercress (Nasturtium officinale), non-native water lilies, Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), Giant salvinia (Salvinia), Water soldier (Stratiotes aloides), Water chestnut (Trapa natans), Parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum), Brittle naiad (Najas minor)