Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)

The Big Stone County Environmental Office manages the County's Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program, made possible through state funding. In 2014, the State of Minnesota began providing funds to each County with public water accesses to help prevent spread of AIS on a local level. With these finances, the county will develop a program to fight AIS through these areas: Education, Monitoring, and Inspections.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are aquatic organisms that invade ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range. Their presence may harm native ecosystems or commercial, agricultural, or recreational activities dependent on these ecosystems. They may even harm our health. Click on the pictures below to read more.

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For many centuries, humans have contributed to spreading non native species around the globe. These species have been introduced either intentionally or unintentionally.

Examples of Intentional Introductions
  • Releasing unwanted aquarium fish into a lake.
  • Stocking sport fish outside their native range.
  • Liberating unused bait fish.
  • Introducing non-native species for management (bio-control, ecosystem engineering)              
Examples of Unintentional Introductions 
  • Trailered boats.
  • Ballast water discharge.
  • Escape of organisms from hatcheries and aquaculture facilities.
AIS can be spread many ways including ships, boats, barges, aquatic recreation (fishing, hunting, boating, diving, etc.), water gardening, seaplanes, connected waterways and many other pathways. Through these and other means, thousands of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species have been introduced into our park waters.

Currently Big Stone County has the following confirmed AIS infestations:
Big Stone Lake - Curly-leaf pondweed                                                                                                                                
Artichoke Lake- Curly-leaf pondweed

The Minnesota DNR Aquatic Invasive Species web page is loaded with helpful information regarding rules and regulations, species identification, and what individuals and groups can do to prevent the spread of AIS. Visit their website:  MN DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Page

Big Stone County's AIS Plans

Staff Contact
Danny Tuckett