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Invasive Species

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Round goby, photo credit: Rick Snider

Here are a few ways you can help stop the spread of invasive species in Ontario.

Aquatic Invasive Species

  • Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment after each use.  Remove all plants, animals and mud before moving to a new waterbody.
  • Drain water from your motor, live well, bilge and transom wells while on land.
  • Rinse all recreational equipment with high pressure (>250 psi) or hot (50oC / 122oF) water OR let it dry in the sun for at least five days.
  • Don’t release any live fish into Ontario lakes, rivers or streams.
  • Don’t import live fish into Ontario.
  • Learn how to identify invasive aquatic species and how to prevent the spread of these unwanted species.  If you’ve seen an Asian carp or other invasive species in the wild please contact the toll free Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.
  • Never buy or use round goby as bait.  It is against the law to use round goby as bait or to have a live round goby in your possession.
  • If you catch a fish with a sea lamprey attached, do not return the sea lamprey to the water.  Kill it and put it in the garbage.
  • Don’t help sea lampreys pass over dams and culverts that block their spawning migration.
  • Have a fish pet that is no longer wanted? Don’t release it into the wild and don’t flush dead fish down the toilet. Put them in the garbage or compost.

Invasive Plants and Plant Pests

Purple Loosestrife_Rick Snider

Purple Loosestrife, Photo credit: Rick Snider

Gardeners should use only native plants and are encouraged to ask garden centres for plants that are not invasive.  For helpful suggestions see:

Learn how to properly identify invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed, and how to effectively manage invasive plants on your property.

Already have an invasive species on your property?  To learn about what to do if you find an invasive species on your property, read the species fact sheets available online:

Phragmites or Common Reed_Kenton Otterbein

Phragmites or common reed grass, Photo credit: Kenton Otterbein

Learn More

Ontario’s Invading Species Program

Invasive Species Centre