Invasive species are plants, animals, and micro-organisms that have been moved from their native habitat and introduced to an area where they reproduce quickly and crowd out native species. In Ontario, the Invasive Species Act prevents and controls their spread.

Key invasive plant species in Muskoka

These invasive species are especially harmful to Muskoka's environment:

How to help

Help protect our natural vegetation and wildlife by identifying invasive species, reporting sightings, and stopping the spread.

Identify and report sightings

Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program has information about invasive species in Ontario and what they look like. If you find invasive species on your property or in your community, report it:

  • by calling the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711
  • online, using EDDMapS Ontario

Stop the spread

In the garden, on the water, on a trail or trip, and at home, you can help stop the spread of invasive species.


  • Use live bait lawfully
  • Never dump your bait into the water
  • Use local bait to reduce the risk of introducing a species that isn't normally found in the local area
  • Rinse out your livewell before travelling to a new waterbody
  • Never release prohibited invasive fish into a waterbody
  • If you catch an invasive fish, destroy it right away so it can't reproduce or breed


  • Before leaving the water, clean any mud, vegetation, or anything suspicious from your boat, motor and anchor
  • Drain all standing water at the boat launch
  • To remove invaders that you can't see or that can live out of water, dry your boat for 2-7 days in sunlight or clean your boat with hot water (over 50°C) or pressurized water (over 250 psi)
  • Avoid running the engine through aquatic plants
  • Never transport or release a prohibited invasive species


  • Inspect your property and shoreline for any sign of invasion
  • Use local firewood
  • Make sure your trailers, bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, and boot bottoms are free of plant material and seed-spreading mud
  • Groom your pet to remove any seeds it might have picked up


  • Choose native or non-invasive species for your garden
  • Root out and dispose invasive plants carefully to stop the spread of seeds
  • Never buy, sell or cultivate regulated invasive plants


  • Stay on designated paths in natural areas to avoid picking up seeds from the forest that shouldn't be spread elsewhere
  • Clean all your gear after hiking for plants and mud that might be carrying invasive plant seeds
  • Groom your pet to remove any seeds it might have picked up
  • Report any invasive species you find at 1-800-563-7711


Volunteer to help remove, map and raise awareness of invasive species in Georgian Bay with Honey Harbour Association and Georgian Bay Forever.

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