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Healthy Shorelines for Healthy Lakes

Invasive Species

Zebra muscles on the beach

Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of Ontario’s waters and woodlands. Originating from other regions and in the absence of their natural predators, diseases and competitors, some non-native species are left to flourish as they take over their new surroundings and become invasive – eliminating native species populations and resulting in less biodiversity and a changed ecosystem.  

Invasive species can be introduced by many methods, including

•    Recreational boating
•    Ballast water
•    Release of live bait
•    Horticultural trade
•    Seed mixtures
•    Aquarium and water garden trade
•    Firewood

However, there are actions we can all take to help reduce the spread of invasive species:

•    Learn to identify some of Ontario’s invasive species
•    Never move/release live baitfish or other fish from one body of water to another
•    Inspect, clean and thoroughly dry all boats, trailers, water skis, scuba gear or other equipment before introducing them to a new water body
•    Plant native species
•    Never release aquarium plants, fish or other animals (ie. turtles) into a natural system
•    If camping, buy local firewood rather than bringing your own
•    Report sightings to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program at 1-800-563-7711

Learn more about invasive species from the Invading Species Awareness Program and the Ontario Invasive Plant Council or the Invasive Species section of the Ministry of Natural Resources website.

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