Invasive Species Management


The best defense against invasive species is prevention. The longer an invasive species is allowed to grow and disperse without being reported, the larger its establishment will become and the higher the associated costs will be needed to control or eradicate. Visit the state of Michigan's invasive species watch list to see which species have been identified as posing an immediate or potential threat to Michigan's economy, environment or human health. These species either have never been confirmed in the wild in Michigan or have a limited known distribution. Follow the links below to learn more about how you can prevent invasive species introductions and spread.


Before taking action against invasive species, it's important to identify them properly. It's best to use several different resources until you have some experience. Consider asking a local naturalist or extension staff for help, and consult multiple field guides, websites, and smartphone apps.


The Lake St. Clair CISMA depends on public awareness and involvement. Local residents naturally navigate through their communities within Macomb and St. Clair and can provide invasive distribution information near their homes, businesses, and local parks. Reporting invasive species observations helps practitioners to rapidly respond to harmful situations and increases the chance of local eradication for invasive plants, when discovered early. How to report invasive species:

  1. Take photos & note location

  2. Record date & density of growth

  3. Enter data on


Landowners and invasive species managers prioritize their activities to make efficient use of limited time and resources. The Lake St. Clair CISMA maintains a Tiered Priority Invasive Species List that is reviewed annually. See the list below to learn more about what invasive species we're watching for and managing.

The LSC CISMA prioritizes outreach, education, and management of certain invasive species with high potential for negative impacts in the region. These include: invasive Phragmites, Japanese and giant knotweeds, European frog bit, red swamp crayfish, water lettuce and water hyacinth. The CISMA is also on high alert for all state watch list species like spotted lanternfly and Asian longhorned beetle.


Invasive species can be controlled through a number or combination of treatment options such as chemical, mechanical, and biological control. Each species and site requires careful consideration of management practice, and almost all require an integrated, adaptive management approach, requiring multiple control efforts implemented over various seasons. Long term monitoring and management of native restoration sites is the only way to build a resilient landscape and ensure that invasive species don't re-colonize and spread.

Invasive species management plans should also include a disposal method that ensures the species will not spread to previously cleared or new areas. Depending on many factors, it may be safer and more effective to hire a professional to help you manage and properly dispose of invasive species.


Before beginning a monitoring program, it's important to create a monitoring protocol, which is a defined process. Monitoring before and after restoration is critical to demonstrate the effectiveness of your management efforts and to learn what works best at your site. Take the next steps in monitoring:

  • Conduct baseline monitoring using your pre-determined monitoring protocol

  • Monitor the site over time according to your pre-determined protocol

  • Analyze your monitoring data to determine whether the management and restoration work was effective and change your strategies as needed

  • Remove emerging invasive plants that colonize the site ahead of native vegetation

  • Return to the site for follow-up work as needed – note that it may take several years for native plants to fully establish at the site.


The Lake St. Clair CISMA restores ecosystem resilience and wildlife habitat through enhanced restoration strategies, such as seeking and supporting projects that permit restoration work following invasive species management. We can help by identifying and promoting native plant alternatives and planting strategies effective for resilience to invasive species.