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Valley Life

September 9, 2012

Sale of invasive aquatic plants banned

It is now illegal to sell 28 invasive aquatic plants in Indiana.

The new rule, which was recently approved by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission, also makes offering such plants for gift, barter, exchange or distribution illegal.

The purpose of this rule is to help prevent the introduction and distribution of aquatic invasive plants into Indiana waters and wetlands.

The spread of invasive aquatic plants reduces boating, fishing and other aquatic recreation opportunities. Such plants also negatively impact native aquatic plants and reduce property values around lakes and ponds.

A list of the prohibited plants and the exact language of the rule is at www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20120411-IR-312120050PRA.xml.pdf.

Many of these plants have been used in aquariums or water gardens for years. Some are already widely established. The most popular of such plants currently sold include flowering rush, Brazilian elodea (Anacharis), yellow flag iris, parrot feather and yellow floating heart.

Management or eradication of species already in Indiana waters easily exceeds $1 million annually when Department of Natural Resources and lake association costs are combined.

Aquarium and water garden hobbyists can help slow the spread of such species by purchasing non-invasive or native plants. Boaters can remove plants, mud and other debris from their watercraft when they remove them from the water.

The new rule will be administered by the DNR Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology in cooperation with the Division of Fish & Wildlife. For information call Eric Fischer, DNR aquatic invasive species coordinator, at 317-234-3883.

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