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List of Aquatic Nuisance Species


In a previous post I discussed aquatic nuisance species and some of the damages they cause. In 2007, the Missouri Department of Conservation developed its Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan. The plan identified 12 nuisance species already present in Missouri, and fourteen more poised to enter the state.

The list is presented below. Information about these species and other problem species identified by the Missouri Department of Conservation can be found on the Department’s website: MDC Home Page » Discover Nature – Field Guide » Invasive Species.

Common Name Scientific Name Comments
Dotted duckweed Landoltia punctata Currently found in the St. Louis area and in southeast and western Missouri
Eurasian watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum Widespread. May be eliminated from existing habitats with great difficulty
Brittle naiad Naias minor Common in ponds and lakes statewide.
Purple loostrife Lythrum salicaria Common in north Missouri and the Missouri River valley
Zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha Currently limited to Lake of the Ozarks, Taneycomo and the Missouri and Mississippi rivers
Asian clam Corbicula fluminia Common throughout Missouri. Low feasibility for eliminating from existing habitats
Water flea Daphnia lumholtzi Common in large lakes
Common carp Cyprinus carpio Widespread. May damage aquatic habitats when present in large numbers
Silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Common in most large rivers. May compete with native species. Jumps and may injure boaters and water skiers
Grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella Common throughout Missouri. Can be difficult to manage in ponds and lakes without eliminating aquatic vegetation
Bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis Common in most large rivers
White perch Morono americana Found in Missouri and Mississippi rivers and tributaries in low numbers. Becomes overabundant in oxbows and could pose a threat to some resident fish communities if introduced. May invade large reservoirs
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes Must develop cold water tolerance to survive in Missouri
Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata Found in Arkansas and Tennessee
New Zealand mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum Likely import via boots, waders, boats, etc.
Quagga Mussel Dreissena burgensis Only one (1) individual found in Mississippi River in 2002
Rusty crayfish Orconectes rusticus Introduction to the wild via bait buckets is very likely
Northern Channa argus Possible introduction to the wild via aquarium releases
Black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus Predator on mussels and mollusks. May already exist in Missouri and Mississippi rivers and their large tributaries
Ruffe Gymnocephalus cemuus Invasion via Great Lakes and Illinois River possible
Round goby Neogobius melanostomus Invasion from Great Lakes via the Illinois River is possible
Didymo Didymosphenia geminata Invasion from Arkansas waters is likely
Spiny water fkea Bythotrephes ederstroemi Introduction by water or wild caught bait transfer from Great Lakes is possible
Fishhook water flee Cercopagis pengoi Introduction by water or wild caught bait transfer from Great Lakes is possible
Whirling disease Myxobolus cerebralis Introduction by live salmonids transferred from the west or by contaminated gear is likely
VHS Novirhabdovirus sp. Water, bait, and fish transfers are likely to introduce VHS from the Great Lakes states


Missouri Department of Conservation Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan. (2007).  ANS Task Force Home Page » Documents » State and Regional Plans » Missouri Department of Conservation Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan. http://www.anstaskforce.gov/State%20Plans/MO_ANS_Management_Plan.pdf.

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