Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Mountain-Prairie Region
Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are non-native plants and animals that threaten the diversity or abundance of native aquatic species, the ecological stability of infested waters, and the commercial, agricultural, and recreational activities dependent on those waters. These nonnative introductions are second only to habitat alteration as a factor in the decline of native aquatic species in North America, and climate change will exacerbate the introduction and spread of many AIS. New introductions and the spread of already established invasive species have the potential to add to these declines and hinder efforts to restore already depleted and Endangered Species Act listed native species.The Aquatic Invasive Species Program aims to prevent, manage or control invasive aquatic plant and animal populations to preserve our country's aquatic ecosystems.


Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native species which cause environmental or economic impacts to our native ecosystems. Once in the country, they often spread by “hitchhiking” to new areas through people’s activities. They can be spread to new waters in many ways; some examples include muddy boots, vegetation caught on vehicles, or water left in boats.


 The AIS Coordinator is housed in Fish and Aquatic Conservation and works with all Service programs and many conservation partners.  Internal to the Service, we are working to ensure that our staff doesn’t move AIS to new waters when fulfilling our mission. By inspecting our fish hatcheries for AIS we eliminate the chance of spreading AIS when stocking our waters. Development and use of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Plans allows us to determine where in our daily activities we are at risk of spreading AIS and provide guidance to minimize that risk.

Building Consensus

Are you a boater in the West? If so, you’ll be familiar with boat inspection and decontamination stations run by state fish and game agencies at state borders or boat ramps. The purpose of these stations is to stop the spread of destructive quagga and zebra mussels. Do you wish the inspections between states were more consistent? Do you wish an inspection form from one state was accepted in another?


We are working with a consortium of partners to fund and address these issues. Partners include nineteen Western states, Oregon Sea Grant, National Sea Grant Law Center, National Association of Attorney Generals, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.


More information about this partnership can be found at



Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force

The ANS Task Force is an inter-governmental organization that focuses on prevention and control of aquatic nuisance species. We distribute funds to the states in the Mountain Prairie Region with ANS Task Force-approved ANS plans.

Much of the Task Force’s work is completed by Regional Panels. We site on the Executive Committee of the Western Regional Panel and participate in the Mississippi River Basin Panel.

100th Meridian Initiative

This initiative is a cooperative effort between local, state, and federal agencies to prevent and control the westward spread of aquatic nuisance species such as zebra and quagga mussels. Funding is provided by the Service to raise awareness and protect our aquatic resources through contracted Watercraft Inspection trainings and guidance, and consistent outreach materials.

The 100th Meridian Initiative also works through major river basin teams. The Mountain-Prairie Region participates in both the Missouri River Basin and Columbia River Basin Teams

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Last updated: July 21, 2014