Today, water gardeners and aquarium owners are able to select from a variety of aquatic plants, invertebrates, and fish that can be readily available at local nurseries, pet stores, and aquarium outlets or via mail order or the internet. Exotic species are desired for water gardens and aquariums because of the beauty and variety.
Unfortunately, some of these aquatic exotic species have the potential to become “invasive” due to accidental or intentional release/escape into Ontario waters and can spread into our lakes, rivers and wetlands, having negative impacts on native species and ecosystems.
You can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species!
Learn how to identify invasive species that are a threat to Ontario. Consider using only tropical or non-invasive species in your aquarium or water garden
To avoid accidental releases or escapes, place water gardens away from natural water-ways and possible flooding situations
When buying aquatic plants, fish or invertebrates choose a reputable nursery or aquarium retailer
Never collect plants or fish from the wild
Never dispose of aquatic plants, invertebrates or fish into natural waterways. Dispose of any unwanted plants by drying them completely or freezing and discarding in the household garbage or local Green Bin Program
Return any unwanted turtles, snails, fish or plants to your local retailer, or find them a new home online or at a local school
Report all sightings to the Invading Species Hotline 1-800-563-7711 or make a report online