Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are a threat to our environment, economy, and way of life. Fortin Consulting works on many projects to identify sources and reduce the introduction and spread of AIS.

Research
Investigation of Sources of AIS (clients: Hennepin and Dakota Counties)

  • Inspections of pet stores and garden centers in Hennepin and Dakota Counties
  • Survey and Interviews with store owners/managers to gather information on AIS knowledge and potential actions that could lead to release of AIS
  • Results: found many regulated plant, fish and animal species and one prohibited fish species (Oriental weatherfish, a.k.a. gold dojo loach). Reported to DNR for follow up with pet stores.

Inspections of AIS prevention behavior at public boat accesses that are either not inspected or when inspectors were absent (client: Hennepin County)

  • Observed and recorded actions of access users regarding AIS prevention
  • Analyzed data and prepared report

Education

  • Educational materials- prepared educational materials and disposal guidelines and distribution to pet stores and garden centers; conducted short educational discussion with store manager/staff (clients:Hennepin and Dakota Counties)
  • AIS Early Detector Workshops – created workshop to teach lake users how to identify and search for invasive species, with an emphasis on those not already widespread in Hennepin County. Following a presentation, samples of many AIS were displayed for participants to view and touch (client: Hennepin County)
  • On-lake AIS monitoring and identification training for 18 lake groups- worked with lake groups out on their lakes teaching them how to monitor for and identify invasive plants, zebra mussels and other species while conducting a short survey of the lake. Citizens leave equipped to conduct their own AIS surveys. (client: Hennepin County)

FCI is available to conduct similar inspections, workshops or on-lake training for your organization.

Volunteer tossing vegetation sample rake

AIS classroom training

Gold dojo loach: MN Prohibited Species

Water hyacinth and parrot feather: MN Regulated Species commonly sold in water garden stores