DNR proposes classifying 13 invasive plants, animals as prohibited

Tubenose Goby
Tubenose goby image courtesy of Yuriy Kvach

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment through Dec. 9 on its proposal to classify 13 high-risk invasive aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates as prohibited. The DNR classifies invasive species as prohibited to prevent their introduction and spread in Minnesota, and to protect the state’s environment, economy, natural resources and outdoor recreation.

The reasons for listing the species are summarized below. More information on these species can be found on the AIS Classification page of the DNR website.

Jumping worms have negative impacts on plants and soils. While some species are known to be present in some Minnesota urban areas, most of Minnesota is not known to have any of the jumping worm species. Listing these species as Prohibited Invasive Species would make sales of jumping worms illegal, strengthen regulations to ensure worm species that are allowed to be sold are not contaminated with jumping worms, and reduce their potential spread in the state. The DNR will provide best management practices for cleaning equipment, heat treatment of compost and other actions to companies that work with soil, mulch, compost or other materials that may harbor jumping worms.
The non-native subspecies common reed has negative environmental impacts, including forming monocultures in wetlands and reducing habitat for native plant and animal species. The proposed rule would not apply to Minnesota’s native subspecies of common reed. As a result of the impacts of the non-native subspecies of common reed, the DNR invasive species program received federal funding from a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to implement statewide control through a comprehensive plan.

Mitten crabs, Nile perch, snakehead fish and walking catfish are proposed for regulation in Minnesota for consistency with the federal injurious wildlife species list.
Yellow floating heart, tench, golden mussel and marbled crayfish are all identified as “least wanted” species by the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force. Adding these regional priority species to Minnesota’s list would help to prevent their introduction and spread.
Golden clam can have negative economic and environmental impacts. Golden clam accumulations can block water intake pipes and interfere with substrate needed by native species. Populations of golden clams have already been found in some Minnesota waters; classifying this species as prohibited will help prevent further spread in the state.
Tubenose gobies are all non-native to North America and have the potential for negative impacts. The western tubenose goby is already listed as a Prohibited Invasive Species in Minnesota and there are several other species in the genus that are difficult to distinguish from one another. By listing the genus as a whole, we can more effectively prevent the introduction and spread of other tubenose goby species.

Eastern mosquitofish. Eastern and western mosquitofish have both been stocked for mosquito control and have both been invasive in places they were introduced. Western mosquitofish are listed as Prohibited Invasive Species in Minnesota. Adding eastern mosquitofish would reduce the risk that this close relative to the western mosquitofish would be introduced to the state.

Additional details about each species, why they are proposed to be listed as Prohibited Invasive Species and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the DNR website.

The proposed rules and notice of intent to adopt expedited rules were published in the Oct. 31 Minnesota State Register (mn.gov/admin/bookstore/register.jsp). Written comments on the proposed rules must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Comments should be submitted to the attention of Laura Van Riper, Terrestrial Invasive Species Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025 or via email at ais.dnr@state.mn.us. All information as part of a public comment during formal rulemaking proceedings is public data, including name and contact information.

A copy of the proposed rules is available by emailing ais.dnr@state.mn.us.

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