Many of us may have disposed of unwanted aquarium fish, plants, snails, crayfish, frogs, turtles by releasing them into local waters, flushing them down the toilet, or maybe allowing them to escape. Students and teachers may release unwanted live study specimens. It seems simple and kindhearted, but these are inappropriate actions and there are better solutions.
Release or escape of unwanted aquarium fish, plants, reptiles as well as study specimens can harm Minnesota waters and native species. Besides not being good for our lakes and rivers, it is illegal in Minnesota. Fish and other animals like crayfish can carry diseases that can kill native species. Invasive plants can clog waterways and snag boat propellers. Recent examples of releases in Minnesota include piranha, pacu, rusty crayfish, water hyacinth, water lettuce, Amazonian catfish, koi, goldfish, yellow iris, red-eared slider turtle, and even a cayman!