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Hydrilla
Quagga and zebra mussels

Introducing non-native species into Iowa waters can upset the balance of the ecosystem, thereby harming the environment.

Aquatic nuisance species, such as zebra mussels, quagga mussels, milfoil, and purple loosestrife, most often spread between waterways by hitching a ride on vessels and trailers. When transplanted into new waters, these organisms and many other invasive species proliferate, displacing native species and damaging the water resource.

In Iowa, it is illegal to possess, introduce, import, purchase, sell, barter, propagate, or transport aquatic invasive species in any form. It is also illegal to transport on a public road, or place, or attempt to place into waters of the state any water-related equipment that has an aquatic invasive species or aquatic plant attached to or within the water-related equipment. A person violating any of these regulations is subject to a $500 fine. A person shall drain all water from water-related equipment when leaving the waters of the state and before transporting the water-related equipment off a water access area or riparian property. Drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the drainage of water from ballast tanks, bilges, and live wells shall be removed or opened while transporting water-related equipment. A person violating any of these regulations is subject to a $75 fine.