To help protect Minnesota waters, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding people to properly dispose of prohibited or unwanted aquarium plants and animals.
“It’s important for hobbyists, teachers, parents and children to know that they should never release aquarium animals or plants into the wild,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “Some of the pets and plants that live in aquariums are prohibited species that can cause serious harm if released into lakes, rivers or ponds.”
The DNR recommends teachers check the prohibited invasive species list before choosing classroom aquarium animals. “We also encourage teachers to discuss invasive species with their students,” Wolf said.
People with aquarium animals or plants that are prohibited or that they no longer want can dispose of them at two upcoming surrender events sponsored by Minnesota Sea Grant:
Some retailers sell plants and animals that are prohibited in Minnesota. One example frequently found in classrooms, the red swamp crayfish, is causing major environmental and economic harm as nearby as Wisconsin.
More information about prohibited and regulated species and what to do with them is available at mndnr.gov/invasives/laws.