AIS Identification Guide

This ID book contains tips for identifying a number of aquatic invasive species (AIS) that are considered high-risk to Minnesota waters, as well as some common native lookalike species. The book was updated in February 2018. There are three ways for you to access it: 

  1. Click here to download a printable version of the guide.
  2. Purchase it through the University of Minnesota Bookstore! If you purchase a book, it will be printed in full color on waterproof, durable paper and bound with an expandable binding in case additional pages need to be added.
  3. Become an AIS Detector and get the book -- plus tons of hands-on training! -- through the program.

As you look at identifying characteristics and descriptions, bear in mind that colors and sizes can be variable. These are general guidelines, not definitive taxonomic identification characteristics. Whenever possible, we highlighted key or unusual characteristics about a species, but specimens can often look very similar. They may also sometimes be found outside of the suggested habitats. If you are in doubt as to whether you have found an AIS, be sure to submit a report to the DNR using EDDMapS or the Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) app, or by contacting a DNR AIS Specialist.

In 2018, the ID Guide was given a Silver award from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals for Oustanding Educational Materials!

ais id guide