Invertebrates: Frequently asked questions about proposed rule change


The DNR is proposing to classify the invertebrates listed below as Prohibited Invasive Species under DNR rules (Minnesota Rules, 6216.0250). The Minnesota invasive species laws webpage lists currently classified species. Prohibited Invasive Species are illegal to possess, import, purchase, sell, propagate, transport or introduce without a permit from the DNR (Minnesota Statutes, chapter 84D).

See the Detailed information on Prohibited Invasive Species Rulemaking webpage for an overview of all the species being proposed, links to detailed classification summary documents and direct links to statutory information including definitions, prohibited activities and possible penalties. When new rules go in to effect, the DNR’s priority is education, to help people understand the new rules to prevent the introduction and spread of the species.


Q: Why is this needed? What good will it do?

A: Populations of golden clams have already established in some Minnesota waters. Golden clams are likely to have negative economic impacts and may also have negative impacts on native mussel fauna. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies this species as a high risk. By listing golden clams as prohibited invasive species, additional introduction and spread can be prevented.

The Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force has released their list of the Great Lakes Least Wanted Aquatic Invasive Species. Golden mussels and marbled crayfish are on that list but are not regulated in Minnesota. Regulating golden mussels and marbled crayfish as a prohibited invasive species can help prevent impacts to the Great Lakes region as a whole.

The mitten crab is proposed for regulation in Minnesota for consistency with the federal injurious wildlife species list. Due to a reinterpretation of this federal law in 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have the jurisdiction to prohibit the interstate transport of federally-listed injurious species within the continental U.S., but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains an authority to prohibit interstate commerce of state-banned species. By listing these federally injurious wildlife species, Minnesota will help to close regulatory gaps in the Great Lakes region and help prevent the introduction of these species to Minnesota.

Aquarium owners

Q: I have one of these species in my aquarium, how would this rule affect me?

A: Golden clams, golden mussels, and mitten crabs are not typical aquarium trade species. Marbled crayfish may occur in the pet trade. If the rule change goes into effect and an aquarist already has one of these species in their aquaria, they could apply for a permit to possess prohibited invasive species from the DNR and the DNR can consider permitting individuals to possess these species in Minnesota under certain conditions.

Retailers: including aquarium, water garden and seafood retailers

Q: Can I sell these species if the rule change goes into effect?

A: No. It would not be legal to sell these species. Possession and selling of these species, alive or dead, would not be allowed.


Q: Will this rule change my actions when moving boats or other water-related equipment?

A: No. The Clean, Drain, Dispose laws and actions already in place will prevent the spread of these species as well. No additional actions are needed.

Researchers and Educators

Q: Can I possess these species for research or educational purposes if the rule change goes into effect?

A: If you are collecting, transporting, or keeping samples of these species, you would need to apply for a permit to possess prohibited invasive species from the DNR. The DNR will assess the risks of your proposed project and may issue a permit to manage those risks. The DNR may also suggest alternatives for teaching people how to identify these species.

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