Stop the spread of spiny water flea.

Together we can stop spiny

Spiny water flea is an aquatic invasive species that poses a serious threat to the ecology and recreational value of Minnesota’s lakes. This tiny invasive zooplankton has a major appetite, which can cause big problems in the food web, particularly for young fish and native fish. 

Watch the video or click below to learn more about spiny water flea, how you can help prevent its spread, and our latest research:

MAISRC | Stop Spiny Water Fleas

How you can help

The tiny, spiny water flea can cause big problems for anglers, recreationalists and Minnesota’s aquatic ecosystems. You can help stop the spread of spiny water flea by wiping off and drying your fishing gear when you leave the lake. 

Before you leave the lake

Start by draining all water from your boat and gear, including the bilge, livewell, and bait buckets.

After draining, use a dry dishcloth or towel to:

  • Wipe fishing lines and reels

  • Wipe drained livewells

  • Wipe drained bait buckets 

A recent study by MAISRC researchers suggests that wiping off fishing lines and reels is the quickest way to remove the most spiny water fleas in a limited amount of time. 

Lines, reels, livewells and bait buckets pose a risk of spreading spiny water flea from one lake to the next if not properly cleaned and dried. To learn more about how recreational angling gear can contribute to the spread of spiny water flea, visit the research project page


Learn about spiny water flea
Learn about spiny water flea research

Stop the spread of spiny water flea.

As part of the Stop Spiny campaign, we developed a design that can be printed on cloths to remind boaters and anglers to wipe down their equipment before leaving a spiny water flea-infested lake. MAISRC printed a large number of cloths in the fall of 2020. If you are interested in distributing the cloths to anglers near you, or through your lakeshore association, etc., please send a request to Meg Duhr, MAISRC Outreach Specialist at If you are interested in printing an order of the cloths, we have uploaded an editable PDF here. We ask you please leave the MAISRC and St. Louis County logos on the cloth if you choose to add your own. If you need assistance adding a logo to the design, please reach out to MAISRC Communications Specialist, Kristin Loobeek at We would be happy to help!