Invasive Species Program - EWR Division

DNR posts signs at public water accesses and provides them for private accesses.



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Program Purpose

Curb the spread and minimize harmful effects of nonnative species that can:

  1. cause displacement of, or otherwise threaten, native species in their natural communities; or
  2. threaten natural resources or their use in the state.

Program Goals

  • Prevent introductions of new invasive species into Minnesota.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive species within Minnesota.
  • Reduce the impacts caused by invasive species to Minnesota's ecology, society, and economy.


  • Preparing a long-term plan for the statewide management of invasive species of aquatic plants and wild animals, coordinating efforts within the state, and establishing priorities for prevention, management, and research. Management plans for individual species are also prepared.
  • Listing infested waters. The DNR will list a lake, river, pond or wetland as infested if it contains an aquatic invasive species that could spread to other waters. The DNR may also list a lake, river, pond or wetland as infested if it is connected to a body of water where an aquatic invasive species is present. To reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species, activities like bait harvest and water use are managed differently in infested waters.
  • Adopting rules which place nonnative species into various regulatory classifications: prohibited invasive species, regulated invasive species, unregulated nonnative species, and unlisted nonnative species.
  • Inspecting boats at public water accesses; primarily on infested waters. The program hires a crew of seasonal watercraft inspectors each year to inspect watercraft for aquatic invasive species and decontaminate watercraft when necessary.
  • Identifying potentially invasive species, predicting their spread, and developing and implementing solutions. The Invasive Species Program continues to participate in many prevention efforts.
  • Manage Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and purple loosestrife in coordination with local units of government, special purpose districts, and lake associations. These efforts include providing technical assistance and grants to support management.
  • Prepare an annual report each year to submit to the state legislature. Details of the program responsibilities are described in this report.

Inspecting a boat for harmful aquatic invasive species.

Inspectors educate boaters on invasive species removal.



Funding for invasive species activities is derived from a surcharge on watercraft licenses, a surcharge on non-resident fishing licenses, and the state's general fund. The watercraft surcharge for a three year license period is $5, or $1.67 per year. The program's budget is about $2 million annually. Additional appropriations, primarily for specific research efforts, have come from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and Minnesota Future Resources Fund. Federal grants are also sought to help fund program efforts.