Pet and aquarium businesses

cooked and served crayfish

Important partners in helping to prevent invasive species introductions

Invasive species cause recreational, economic and ecological damage—changing how residents and visitors use and enjoy Minnesota waters. Businesses in the live plant and animal trades can take these actions to protect Minnesota waters from new introductions of invasive species.

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Ensure your business does not buy or sell prohibited invasive species

The following prohibited invasive plants and animals have been documented in the pet and aquarium trade and are illegal to possess or sell in Minnesota. Additional species that are illegal to possess and sell include all Minnesota prohibited invasive species, state and federal noxious weeds and federally-listed injurious wildlife. There are also specific regulations for crayfish. Live crayfish or crayfish eggs of any species are illegal to import into Minnesota without a permit. Live crayfish can only be sold for aquarium use if the species cannot survive in Minnesota if released.

Aquatic plants

  • African elodea (Lagarosiphon major)
  • Brittle naiad (Najas minor)
  • Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Indian swampweed (Hygrophila polysperma)
  • Water soldier (Stratiotes aloides)


  • Eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)
  • Giant or red snakehead (Channa micropeltes)
  • Golden freshwater clam (Corbicula fluminea)
  • Marbled crayfish or marmokrebs (Procambarus virginalis or Procambarus fallax forma virginalis)
  • Nile perch (Lates niloticus)
  • Northern snakehead (Channa argus)
  • Oriental weatherfish (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)
  • Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)
  • Walking catfish (Clarias batrachus)
  • Wels catfish (Silurus glanis)
  • Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)
  • Unspecified snakehead fishes (Channa or Parachanna spp.)
  • Yabby (Cherax destructor)

Remind your customers not to release non-native organisms into the environment

It is illegal to release most non-native animals and plants into a free-living state in Minnesota. Remind your customers not to release non-native organisms into the environment and provide them with alternatives to release.

Sign up for our Pet and Aquarium Trade email list

Sign up for the DNR’s email list specifically for pet and aquarium businesses to stay up-to-date on new information, resources, and changes in regulations related to invasive species.

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Related Links

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