Aquatic Invasive Species Information


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Aquatic invasive species (AIS)  are aquatic organisms  non-native to the local ecosystem and whose introduction causes, or is likely to cause, harm to the environment, human health and the local economy. Their presence threatens the diversity and abundance of native species, the ecological stability of infested waters, and any commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, and recreational activities dependent on such waters. Fourteen AIS have already entered Canandaigua Lake, the most familiar is the Zebra mussel. There are many other AIS, such as Hydrilla, found in nearby waterways that could easily be transported to our lake on boats and trailers and have the potential to cause severe harm to Canandaigua Lake.

WHY WE MUST STOP THEM FROM ENTERING OUR LAKE. Introduction of further AIS could substantially degrade the lake ecosystem, thereby adversely affecting the local economy, drinking water, tourist industry, and quality of life. Boat inspections at launch sites have shown that about 25% of the watercraft used in the lake were just previously used in other bodies of water. To substantially reduce the risk, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association is working with many partners, including the Watershed Council and Finger Lakes PRISM on a comprehensive AIS Initiative for Canandaigua Lake, which includes full-time placement of Watercraft Stewards at the lake’s tow busiest launch sites, the Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park and the DEC Woodville boat launch.

Need more information on our AIS Programs? Use these helpful documents.

CLWA AIS Brochure – 2016

Combating AIS Program – Full Proposal

CLWA AIS Fundraising Brochure



This threat is very real and rapidly growing, and there is potentially a huge cost to this area if additional aquatic invasive species enter the lake. Join with us to help stop the spread of Aquatic Invasives in beautiful Canandaigua Lake.

CLEAN YOUR BOAT. Prevent the introduction of potentially harmful invasives by properly cleaning your watercraft. When you leave a body of water:

  • Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or animals before transporting equipment.
  • Eliminate water from equipment before transporting, e.g. dry wells.
  • Clean and dry anything that comes in contact with water (boats, trailers, equipment, clothing, dogs, etc.)
  • Never release plants, fish or animals into a body of water unless they came OUT of that water.

You can also use this AutoWash Coupon to get a $2.00 7.5 minute boat and trailer wash!

DONATE. Trying to control an invasive species after it enters a lake can cost millions of dollars and in many cases once a species enters a lake it can never be eradicated. At nearby Cayuga Lake, for example, they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to try to eradicate an infestation of Hydrilla. Contributions are needed from businesses and individuals to help fund this initiative.


Furunculosis disease

Curlyleaf pondweed *
Eurasian water milfoil*
Mosquito fern
Starry Stonewort
Water chestnut  (was observed in West River in 2013 before a removal)
Yellow Iris 

Fishhook waterflea
Chinese mystery snail
Banded mystery snail
Zebra mussel
Quagga mussel
Asian  clam
Rusty crayfish
Common carp *
European rudd
Alewife  *

* Naturalized from long residence, forming stable, re-producing populations