Aquatic Invasive Species

Many lakes and ponds in Apple Valley are threatened by aquatic invasive species (AIS). AIS are non-native plants or animals that thrive in their new environment, often out-competing native species and causing damage to water quality and the environment.

Invasive Fish

Invasive fish, such as carp and goldfish can wreak havoc in lakes and ponds. TheIMG_4421ir feeding behavior disrupts shallow rooted plants, muddying the water, and also releasing phosphorous bound in the sediment. Less clear water and additional phosphorous can prevent sunlight from reaching plants and can lead to additional algal blooms. Aquatic plants provide important habitat for native fish and help sustain water clarity by holding sediments in place.

Check out the City’s video on surveying goldfish in Keller Lake. 

The natural resource staff is interested in learning more about the locations of goldfish and carp. If you see any of these species in City ponds or lakes, please report the sighting to the City’s Water Resource Specialist at (952) 953-2462 or

Goldfish "Afishstants"

The City removed 20 invasive goldfish from our local lakes in order to age the fish to better understand the population and growth habits. The City received an Aquatic Invasive Species grant through Dakota County Environmental Services to mount two fish as learning "assistants' for education and outreach opportunities. Other entities or local government units can borrow the fish for educational events. Contact 952-953-2462 for more information on borrowing one of the mounts. 

Invasive Plants

Dakota County Environmental Series provides grant dollars for local governments, lake associations, and County departments for stopping the spread of AIS. The City has been successful in obtaining grants for controlling AIS for the past several years.

How to Help

Every angler, boater, and water recreationist plays a vital role in stopping the spread of AIS. Cleaning watercraft and equipment after use in a water body and following AIS laws helps protect waters and spares anglers and boaters from citations. Take the Pledge to Protect Minnesota Waters today!

The law requires anglers and boaters to clean weeds and debris from their boats; drain lake or river water; remove drain plugs and keep them out while traveling; and dispose of unused bait in the trash. If everyone follows this simple procedure throughout the season, it’s possible to prevent new infestations caused by human activity.

Some aquatic invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access points. To remove or kill them before moving to another body of water, especially after leaving zebra mussel or spiny waterflea-infested waters, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends that boaters:

  • Spray boats and trailers with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse boats and trailers with hot water (120 degrees for 2 minutes, or 140 degrees for 10 seconds), or
  • Dry boats and equipment for at least five days.

Learn more about invasive species and their impact on new environments.