Common Aquatic Nuisance Species
Introducing non-native species into Vermont waters can upset the balance of the ecosystem, hurting the environment. Common nuisance species are:
Eurasian Watermilfoil: A prolific aquatic plant found in Lake Champlain and many inland lakes in Vermont. It interferes with boating and displaces native plants. It is spread easily when plant fragments are caught and moved on boat trailers, propellers, anchors, or in wet wells. Plant fragments can initiate new plants and become well established.
Zebra Mussel: A tiny D-shaped mollusk, well established in Lake Champlain. It can clog water intake pipes, damage vessel engines, obscure historic shipwrecks, and alter native species populations. Adult zebra mussels can attach and be moved on vessel hulls, engines, and other equipment. Microscopic larvae can get trapped and moved in the water of vessel engines, bilges, bait buckets, and live wells.
Water Chestnut: A prolific annual plant found in southern Lake Champlain, Lake Bomoseen, and a few inland lakes. It interferes with boating, hunting, and fishing, and displaces native plants. It is spread by seeds or rosettes caught in vessels and equipment.
Alewife: A small bait fish recently found in Lake St. Catherine. Alewaif may displace smelt and other native forage fish. It can be introduced to new bodies of water if accidentally or intentionally caught and used for bait or if dumped from bait buckets or live wells.