Effective March 10, 2015 New York State DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) will implement the new Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species – 6 NYCRR Part 575.These new regulations make Anacharis, Parrot’s Feather, Yellow Iris and Cabomba illegal to own in New York State. Most importantly, ALL Goldfish and Koi are now regulated which means they must be permanently identified as “Invasive Species-Harmful to the Environment” and cared for and “disposed of” properly. Bergen Water Gardens works hard to educate our customers about risks of potentially invasive species and to manage all of our ponds in a responsible manner. Bergen Water Gardens maintains adoption ponds so unwanted fish may be re-homed to prevent their release into area streams, ponds and lakes. We must all do our part to protect the waters and land of New York State from invasive species.
The New York State Invasive Species regulations are divided into 2 lists:
Prohibited: Prohibited invasive species cannot be knowingly possessed with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce.In addition, no person shall sell, import, purchase, transport, introduce or propagate prohibited invasive species. At this point, NYS is not requiring that homeowners dispose of prohibited plants already in their ponds.
Regulated: Regulated invasive species, on the other hand, are species which cannot be knowingly introduced into a free-living state, or introduced by a means that one should have known would lead to such an introduction, although such species shall be legal to possess, sell, buy, propagate and transport. (Free-living state is a species is considered in a free-living state if it is introduced to public lands or lands connected to public lands, natural areas, and public waters or waters connected to public waters.)
NYS DEC Prohibited Plants:
Cabomba carolina, Fanwort
Egeria densa, Anacharis
Hydrilla verticillata, Hydrilla/Water Thyme
Iris pseudacoris, Yellow Iris
Lythrum salicaria. Purple Loosestrife
Myriophyllum aquaticum, Parrot-feather
Nymphoides pelata, Yellow Floating Heart
Phragmites australis, Reed Grass
Trapa natans, Water Chestnut
NYS DEC Prohibited Fish:
Gambusia affinis, Western Mosquitofish
Gambusia holbrooki, Eastern Mosquitofish
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, Weather Loach
Tinca tinca, Tench
NYS DEC Regulated Fish:
Carassius auratus, Goldfish – Comets, Shubunkins, Sarasa, Wakin, Nymphs, Orandas, Fans, Ryukins, Telescopes plus the remaining varieties
Cyprinus carpio, Koi – All varieties
Regulated Fish that are sold in NYS must be labeled “Invasive Species – Harmful to the Environment”: and offer alternative non-invasive species and provide instructions for the care or tending of the invasive species to prevent their spread in the State or introduction into a free-living state. Any person who purchases a regulated invasive species shall be required to follow any instructions required by the regulations and maintain the required instructions until the regulated invasive species is disposed of in a manner that renders it non-living or non-viable. These regulations extend to all retailers, wholesalers, pond installers, hobbyists, carnivals, producers shipping into NYS and all internet sellers shipping into NYS.
- As of March 1, 2015 we are working with NYS on a label to go on each fish bag identifying the fish as “Invasive Species – Harmful to the Environment’.
- Extra signage will be present in the store focusing awareness on invasive species.
- Bergen Water Gardens will expand our efforts with adoption ponds
- We will continue to network with area pond clubs to “re-home” goldfish and koi.
- All fish and plants must be in ponds where there is no chance to escape and become ‘free-living’.
- Do not use the toilet or sewer to dispose of unwanted fish.
- Pondkeeprs must make sure no eggs are transferred out of their ponds.into neighboring waters.
- Surplus plants must be disposed of responsibly.
- Landscapers or wholesale customers must advise their customers, in writing, about the threat of invasive species and the fish and plants they are utilizing in their ponds.
The new list of NYS Invasive Species and Regulations may be found here.
A current list of regulated aquatic plants by state may be found here.
The 72 member list of fish belonging to the ‘Fish Workgroup”; a few are already classified as invasive. Most of these fish are popular aquarium fish.
Bergen Water Gardens recommends that all fish farms, aquatic plant farms, aquarium socities, koi and pond societies join Pet Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) to stay informed and united. There is a real risk these lists will grow and expand.
We encourage you to join our email list to be updated on the latest developments on these regulations and those in the future!