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GLIN==> News Release - Exotic Species ID Cards



                             MN SEA GRANT
                             NEWS RELEASE
DATE:  4/23/03
CONTACT: Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species Info. Center Coordinator
         (218) 726-8712; djensen1@umn.edu

          Aquatic Invasive Species Identification Made Simple

Before you make your first cast of the year or launch your boat, grab
some of Sea Grant's newest aquatic invasive species identification
cards!  Free cards detailing characteristics of nine pests of the Great
Lakes and other waters, their wrongdoings, and what people can do to
prevent their spread are being distributed through bait shops, marinas,
environmental education organizations, and resource management offices
throughout the region.

"We've created these cards to help people recognize some of the area's
most invasive aquatic organisms and to let them know what they can do
to stop them from getting into other waters," said Doug Jensen, Aquatic
Invasive Species Information Center coordinator with the University of
Minnesota Sea Grant Program.  "When these invasive species become
established, itıs virtually impossible to get rid of them so it is
important to know how to prevent their spread."

Precautions everyone can take to prevent the infestation of new lakes
and rivers include inspecting and removing aquatic plants and animals
from watercraft, trailers, and equipment before leaving a water access,
disposing of unwanted bait in the trash, and drying boats and gear
between use.  The unauthorized introduction of fish, crayfish, or
plants into public waters is illegal; this includes aquarium creatures
and ornamental plants often cultivated in water gardens.

ID cards are available for:

Eurasian ruffe
Round goby
Rusty crayfish
Spiny and fishhook waterfleas
Purple loosestrife
Eurasian watermilfoil
European frogbit
Zebra mussel (produced for Minnesota by Wisconsin Sea Grant)

The water-resistant ID cards are small enough to fit in a tackle box,
wallet, or pocket.  They were designed to raise awareness and encourage
boaters, anglers, waterfowl hunters, ornamental and water gardeners, as
well as commercial fisherman and fishery professionals, to help combat
aquatic invasive species.  Each card provides information on the simple
things that people can do to these species from spreading.

"In a way, we've mimicked the characteristics that permit aquatic
invasive species to overtake new habitats ‹ abundant reproduction and
rapid dispersal," said Jensen, who coordinated the production of over
3.2 million ID cards for distribution throughout the Great Lakes during
the year.  "The Watch ID cards are excellent examples of collaboration
among 31 entities throughout the Great Lakes.  They are about
leveraging effort and resources, avoiding duplication of effort, and
effective public outreach."

Minnesota Sea Grant produced Watch ID cards in cooperation with the
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and state natural resource
agencies. Cards were customized for states and provinces bordering the
Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, Washington, and for the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service.

Single cards are free. Individuals or organizations wishing to obtain
cards should contact their state Sea Grant office in the Great Lakes,
or their state or provincial natural resource management agency.  To
order Watch ID cards in Minnesota, contact Minnesota Sea Grant at (218)
726-6191, or by e-mail at seagr@d.umn.edu.

                                  --30--



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