SD Least Wanted.comAquatic invasive Species

Protect the Waters of South Dakota!

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What is an Aquatic invasive Species?

A nonindigenous species that threatens the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters (EPA 1990). Aquatic invasive species can be introduced accidentally or purposely.

Unique Characteristics of aquatic invasive species

  • Produces many offspring.
  • Has early and rapid development.
  • Adapts easily to environment, diet.
  • Tolerates broad range conditions.
  • Free of natural controls.

These characteristics allow aquatic invasive species populations to spin out of control, creating environmental devastation and ecological havoc in their wake.

The environmental and economic impacts of aquatic invasive species are being felt across the United States. Asian Carps, Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil and Brittle Naiad among others are making their way into South Dakota or are currently established within bordering states. While these threats are alarming, our relatively low current levels of infestation provide us with a very good opportunity to be proactive in our response to AIS threats.

Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out of South Dakota's Waters


  • Remove aquatic plants and animals before leaving any waterbody.
  • Drain water from bait bucket, live well, bilge and motor before leaving any waterbody.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish parts, and worms in the trash.
  • Spray/wash boat, trailer, and equipment with high pressure hot water on your way home or at home -OR- dry everything for at least 5 days.
  • Always report questionable species.


  • Never release live animals or plants - this includes all aquarium species, bait, pets or water garden plants. Do not release these into the wild. If you cannot find another home for animals, dispose of them in a trash can or bury them. Seal plants in plastic bags and dispose.


Because these hitchhikers can:

  • Reduce game fish populations
  • Ruin boat engines and jam steering equipment
  • Make lakes/rivers unusable by boaters and swimmers
  • Dramatically increase the operating costs of drinking water plants, power plants, dam maintenance, and industrial processes
  • Reduce native species
  • Degrade ecosystems
  • Affect human health
  • Reduce property values
  • Affect local economies of water-dependent communities.
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