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Flowering Rush

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native plants or animals that are introduced into the region, usually by humans.  They can cause extensive environmental damage to the lake by replacing the species that are needed by the native fish and wildlife. The species that have been found in Big Sandy Lake are Flowering Rush,  Purple Loosestrife, and Chinese Mystery Snails.  Big Sandy is rated high risk, but careful boating practices can prevent the spread of AIS.  Click on the images below for larger views. 

Chinese Mystery Snail

Purple Loosestrife

To Report a Possible Infestation

If you suspect a new infestation of an aquatic plant or animal, note the exact location (GPS coordinates if available), take a photo or keep a sample, and contact the region AIS specialist:

Richard Rezanka 218-328-8821 

richard.rezanka@state.mn.us or at


Big Sandy Lake 2018 Inspection Data

* 1820 boats were inspected entering Big


* Inspectors were stationed at 4 launches for

  420 hours each launch between mid-May

  and early September

* 42 boats (2.3%) found entering launch

  with the plug installed

*38 boats (2.3%) found entering with weeds    or mud attached to the boat or trailer

* Big Sandy non-compliance rate was 4.4%

* Aitkin county-wide non-compliance rate

  was 2.3%.