As the days get hotter in Arizona, many people are going to look for ways to cool down. While Arizona may be landlocked, there's plenty of naturally occurring lakes and reservoirs across the state.

A small lake in the Arizona desert
Credit: Canva

If you happen to find yourself at a body of water in the Grand Canyon state, make sure to keep an eye out for these invasive aquatic species, and respond to their presence accordingly.

Quagga/Zebra Mussels

Quagga Mussel
Credit: Canva

First on the list are Quagga, or Zebra Mussels. Hailing from the Great Lakes, these mussels have found their way to the western United States, including multiple lakes across Arizona (Powell, Mead, Mojave, Havasu, Apache, Canyon and Saguaro). These little nuisances pollute shorelines and damage equipment, as well as filter more phytoplankton than the average animal, leaving significantly less for native wildlife.

To learn more about how to help stop the spread, visit the Don't Move a Mussel Campaign.


A bullfrog on a lillypad
Credit: Canva

Next up are Bullfrogs, a species introduced to the western United States in the early 20th century for food and sport. These amphibians can lay up to 20,000 eggs at once, and will spread without human intervention. Bullfrogs hunt many native species, and carry diseases that can be almost impossible to stop.

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A crayfish holding up its arms
Credit: Canva

Lastly, we have Crayfish. Originally brought into the state as fishing bait, the population has exploded since. Crayfish feed primarily on native plants and animals, disrupting the natural balance the state's ecosystem has built. While you may still use Crayfish as bait, they have to be naturally caught, as they are unavailable for sale or transport in Arizona.

The Arizona Game and Fish department is in the midst of a plan to remove these invasive species from our state. To learn more about other invasive species in Arizona, and how you can help the spread, visit Arizona Fish and Game.

[Arizona Fish and Game]

[U.S. Fish and Wildlife]

[Don't Move a Mussel Campaign]

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