(Mankato, MN) – The Minnesota DNR is urging residents in Greater Mankato and across the state to keep aquarium pets out of local lakes and rivers. The DNR says releasing such animals and fish into the wild is illegal and can cause major environmental damage. Among the invasive species the DNR has recently found in Minnesota waters: an Amazonian catfish, piranha and even a caiman.
“Teachers and hobbyists may not be aware that dozens of aquarium animals and plants are prohibited or regulated invasive species that can cause serious harm if released into the wild,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. The recommended and most humane method of disposing of them is to put them in a plastic bag in the freezer for a day, then put the bag into the trash.
Examples of prohibited and regulated species include goldfish and koi, rusty crayfish, red swamp crayfish, Chinese and banded mystery snails, and many aquatic plants.
Photo credit: Carlos Diaz/Flickr.