STOPPING AQUATIC HITCHHIKERS
Great Lakes Basin waterways have been beset by invasive, non-native species. Common hitchhikers include purple loose strife, zebra mussels, Eurasian water-milfiol, hydrilla, whirling disease, spiny water fleas, round gobies and water hyacinth.
If conditions are right, these species can overwhelm a water resource, reduce game fish populations, ruin boat engines, make lakes and rivers unusable by swimmers and boaters, reduce native species, degrade ecosystems, reduce property values, and affect human health.
These harmful aquatic plants, animals or microscopic organisms can readily be transported to inland lakes via popular recreational activities. They hitch rides on our clothing, boats, and other items used in the water – then are released when we go to another lake or stream.