The Department of Natural Resources today announced the addition of seven species to Michigan’s prohibited species list of aquatic invasive species. An additional species already on the list was also modified from a prohibited species to a restricted species.
Any species considered for listing as prohibited or restricted must be not native to Michigan. Prohibited species generally are not present or are in very limited areas, whereas restricted species are generally widespread and naturalized within the state.
The decision came during the Nov. 6 meeting of the Natural Resources Commission, where DNR Director Keith Creagh signed Invasive Species Order Amendment No. 1 of 2014.
Prior to this order there were 33 aquatic species listed as prohibited or restricted. The following species were added to the prohibited species list:
• Stone moroko – part of the minnow family, this species is a known carrier of a parasite that can negatively impact other fishes.
• Zander – a close relative of the walleye, this species could compete with the native fish or reproduce with it and create a hybrid.
• Wels catfish – this fish is considered a serious danger to native fish populations.
• Killer shrimp – this species is an aggressive predator and could severely threaten the trophic levels of the Great Lakes by preying on a range of invertebrates.
• Yabby – this large crayfish would negatively impact other crayfish species.
• Golden mussel – similar to zebra and quagga mussels, this species has destructive qualities that would threaten native biodiversity.
• Red swamp crayfish – this species can quickly dominate waterbodies and is virtually impossible to eradicate.
Additionally, rusty crayfish were moved from prohibited to restricted classification to allow for their limited possession for the purpose of destroying them for consumption, fertilizer or trash. This species already is widespread throughout the state, yet regulations previously didn’t allow for the collection of them for consumptive purposes.
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