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Invasive Species Non-native exotic or invasive species are all terms used to describe organisms that have been introduced into habitats where they havent historically existed and do not belong. Invasive species can negatively affect the habitats they invade displacing native species and causing a serious threat to biodiversity. Aquatic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to invasive species. Once established in an aquatic ecosystem an invasive species is almost impossible to eliminate and control measures can be costly. Common Aquatic Invaders of Ontario Asian Carp Asian carp is the term used to describe several species of invasive fish that were imported into North America in the 1970s to be used in southern United States aquaculture operations. Flooding allowed the fish to escape into the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in the 1990s and they have been advancing toward the Great Lakes ever since with reported sightings in Canada beginning in 2015.These carp are avid feeders and eat up to 20 of their body weight in plankton per day and they have the potential to displace native fish species. For more see httpfoca.on.caasian-carp Zebra Mussels Tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions these mussels have managed to spread throughout all of the Great Lakes as well as into many inland lakes.They filter the water and can encourage nuisance levels of aquatic plants which can destroy the habitat of some native species. Zebra mussels can also cause considerable damage to property and significant changes to the recreational quality of the waterfront. Spiny Water Flea The spiny water flea is an invasive crustacean with a range in Ontario that includes over 65 inland lakes and waterways.This hungry zooplankton competes directly with native species and juvenile fish eating up to three times as much food. Spiny water fleas have a sharp tail spine that can become entangled in fishing lines and downrigger cables.When the cable is pulled from the water the spiny water fleas attached to the cable can look like straight pins. 16 For more see httpfoca.on.cainvasive- species TedLawrence