Category: Aquatic Invasive Species

Learn about the Aquatic Invasive Species program and how they manage invasive species in Arizona

Quagga mussels at Canyon Lake, a reminder to Clean, Drain and Dry your Watercraft

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are threatening the public’s angling and boating recreation and our state’s water and electrical infrastructure. It is critical for anyone who owns or uses watercraft, or has a business reliant on watercraft, to understand the essential nature of this aquatic invasive species containment effort by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The spread of quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species has far-reaching impacts, both financial and ecological, that can touch virtually every resident of the state. Before leaving a listed water, like Canyon Lake, you must: Clean & dry – Remove all mud, plants and...

Live from the Field: Apple Snail removal at Eldorado Community Fishing Lake

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are unwanted non-native species whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health. AIS are one of the largest threats to our freshwater ecosystems and include plants, animals, and pathogens. One invasive species found in Arizona is the Apple snail. This species, among others, is listed as an Aquatic Invasive Species under the AZ Game and Fish Director’s Orders (A.R.S. § 17-255). Apple snails were first discovered in the Lower Colorado River near Yuma and in the Lower Salt River near the Verde River confluence in 2011. In...

Fountain Hills High School Gets AIS Highlights

The Department’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program spent the day on Thursday, February 23rd at Fountain Hills High School. Ninth through 12th grade Biology classes had finished up a unit on Invasive Species, so presentations from one of the Department’s biologists was perfect timing in tying up all the learned information.  Educating young adults on the AIS challenges all Western states face, is critical to curbing the spread of AIS in Arizona and among neighboring states. The Department spends hundreds of hours a year reaching out and educating the public on the dangers of spreading AIS from one water to another....

Winter Season is also Golden Alga Season

You’ve probably heard about Golden Alga (GA) by now… and if not, you probably will.  For close to a month we’ve experienced a slow but steady fish kill at Veteran’s Oasis in Chandler. What made it particularly frustrating is that ongoing sampling by the lake consultant found no evidence of Golden Alga (GA), and our on-site sampling prior to stocking fish revealed good water quality parameters. Last week we were able to detect GA in samples we collected at the lake, which now explains the catfish and trout that had been dying. We figured the time was right to share some...

Aquatic Invasive Species Program Highlights

Quagga mussels (and all aquatic invasive species) have been infesting various Arizona waters for more than a decade.  Check out what the AIS Program did (i.e. watercraft inspection and decon capacities, outreach, monitoring, AIS removals)  in 2016 to tackle this growing problem. 2016_AIS_Program_Highlights

Invasive Apple Snail Removal at Red Mountain Lake

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (Department) conducted an invasive Apple Snail removal at Red Mountain Lake on November 15, 2016. Apple Snails were first confirmed in Red Mountain Lake in 2015. How did they get there?  The most likely scenario is someone illegally dumped their aquarium full of Apple Snails into the lake. Apple Snails are native to Rio Parana and Argentina in South America. They can quickly infest a lake because they reproduce very rapidly. One Apple Snail female can produce up to 15,000 offspring per year. Not to mention, they also present a major risk to native...

Quagga Mussels at Lake Pleasant

The introduction of non-indigenous, aquatic invasive species into the lower Colorado River and the inland waters of Arizona pose serious biological, environmental, and economic threats in Arizona. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are invasive plants (e.g., giant salvinia; hydrilla; water hyacinth) and animals (e.g., quagga mussel; Asian carp; red claw crayfish) that are transported and released, intentionally or unintentionally, outside of their native or historical range. Because they have few natural controls in new habitats, AIS spread rapidly and often alter the newly invaded aquatic system permanently. Once established, many invasive species prove exceptionally difficult to manage or eradicate. The main...