Delaware is facing invasive species of many kinds which can be introduced into the state via a number of paths. Such “biological pollution” is much more difficult to deal with in the natural environment because invasive species can increase over time. Invasive species spread and become more abundant as time passes, increasing their impact on our natural environment.
What is an invasive species? An invasive species is an alien (non-native) species whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
Not all non-native species are invasive, so what characteristics do invasives have? They are aggressive growers, produce many young, and have few natural predators or diseases.
Known invasive species in Delaware waters
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Northern snakehead Flathead catfish
Blue catfish Red swamp crayfish
Chinese mitten crab Asian shore crab
Aquatic Plants European green crab
What can you do?
Prevention is easier than removal, so outdoor enthusiasts can help prevent the spread of these “trouble-makers” by serving as extra observers. Always be aware of unusual fish plants, shellfish or animals in our waters or natural areas. If you see something that you feel is very unusual, please contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-735-8654 or 302-735-8652 for aquatic species, or 302-739-9912 for terrestrial animals.
It is currently unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, or sell: walking catfish, grass carp or live northern snakehead or blotched snakehead fish without written permission of the Director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife.