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Invasive Species

According to Wikipedia: An invasive species is a plant, fungus, or animal species that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species), and which has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health.

What's The Big Deal?

Invasive species can harm both the natural resources in an ecosystem as well as threaten human use of these resources.

Invasive species are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats.

by erikkh

Callary Pear

Ornamental pear trees, most commonly known as Bradford pears, have been a popular landscaping tree in Indiana for decades.

So popular that they are crowding out native Indiana trees.

Cooperative Invasive Management

If you're looking to help address the problems of invasive species beyond your own property, consider joining or forming a local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) or as they used to be called, a CWMA, Cooperative Weed Management Area.  CISMAs are partnerships that can include federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals, and other interested groups that manage noxious weeds or invasive plants in a specific area (such as county).  Marshall County SWCD, as a member of the Arrow Head Country RC&D, has an Invasive Species Resource Specialist, Erica Luchik, based in the Rensselaer Service Center. 

CISMAs include local citizens, city, county, state, tribal and federal leaders, and both nonprofit organizations and for-profit corporations to more effectively control invasive plants across property lines. Some CISMAs have been started by government agencies taking a larger, region-wide approach to invasive plant management, while others have been formed by concerned citizens partnering with agencies, organizations, and corporations that can provide additional resources.


No matter where the impetus comes from to start a CISMA, the goal is the same: to work together with all interested parties in the area for more effective invasive plant management.  Currently, there is no CISMA in Marshall County.  If you would like to see a CISMA started, please contact the Marshall County SWCD office at 574-936-2024 x 3 or send an email.

For more information, visit this CISMA Resources Page.

What Can I Do?

You can help by reporting invasive plants when you find them!  Indiana has partnered with EddMaps to allow Hoosiers to report invasives online or via their smartphone.  You can also browse their website or app to view distribution maps, photos, and other information on area invasives.

Clean ~ Drain ~ Dry

The best way for boaters to help protect our waters is by following the ‘Clean-Drain-Dry’ message,” said Eric Fischer, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

  • Clean: When leaving the water, clean all equipment that touched the water. This includes watercraft hulls, trailers, shoes, waders, life vests, engines and other gear. Remove all visible plants, algae, animals and mud.

  • Drain: Drain accumulated water from watercraft or gear, including live wells and transom wells, before leaving the ramp or public access point.

  • Dry: Once home, let all gear dry for five days or more before using it in a different water body.


Dumping bait or unwanted aquarium or terrarium pets can introduce invasive species to waterways.

Dispose of all unused bait in a trash can instead of dumping it into the water or on the shore.

Black Swallowwort

Monarch butterflies will lay eggs on black swallowwort, but the larvae will die.

New infestation confirmed in Allen County, IN


MCSWCD is offering a bounty on Pretty Invasive Pears in 2023 This cost share program will reimburse you up to $500 to remove this aggressive and troublesome tree and replace it with an acceptable native tree and will run thrugh November '23. You must live in Marshall County to take advantage of this program.  Download this form for details. The bounty will be offered on a first come/first serve basis and until designated funds are used. Applications will be subject to approval.

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