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User Specific Prevention Procedures: Aquarium or Pet Owners

Many people think their fish, reptile or other aquatic species might survive if they turn them loose in local water. Unfortunately, many of these species do survive and if they can reproduce, they will upset the balance of native species. Instead of thinking in terms of the one fish or animal you may save, think in terms of the number of fish or animals you are going to harm if you release these pets. Either find another owner or destroy the animals in the most humane way possible. Do not even empty the water from your aquarium or fish tank into a water body. Empty the water into the toilet or onto land far from bodies of water.

In addition to not releasing live plants or aquatic species directly into waters, do not dump these organisms into storm drains. Most storm drains normally lead to rivers, lakes or wetlands, which are all integral components of a bigger watershed. So, to be safe, do not dump any living organisms, plants or animals, into other waters or storm drains.

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Check out the Latest News about the Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker Campaign and the aquatic hitchhiker problem.

Common Hitchhikers

Zebra Mussels
Whirling Disease
Spiny Water Fleas
Round Gobies
Water Hyacinth

Video Clips
Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi River
(Real Video format)

Round Goby
(Quicktime Format)
New Audio Messages for Traveler Information Systems
Zebra Mussel (mp3)
Zebra Mussel #2 (mp3)