Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species

The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) has hosted the Mississippi River Basin Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (MRBP) since 2003 under the oversight of the national Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force headquartered in Washington, DC.  The MRBP is one of six Regional ANS Panels established by the ANS Task Forec to coordinate governmental efforts to prevent and manage introductions of ANS in the United States with those of the private sector and other North American interests. The MRBP project area includes the entire Mississippi River Basin, the largest watershed in the nation, covering 1.25 million square miles, and draining 41% of the continental United States.


 Mississippi River Basin

Mississippi River Basin Map



Aquatic Nuisance Species


ANS are aquatic organisms introduced into new habitats that produce harmful impacts on aquatic natural resources in these ecosystems and on the human use of these resources.  The term ANS is often used interchangably with the more contemporary term Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).  The Mississippi River Basin has been greatly impacted by a number of invasive fish, plants, and mussels and continues to be threatened by new ANS introductions.  Twenty-three of MICRA's 28 members states reported 149 ANS in the Mississippi River Basin during a 1999 survey.  These included 56 plants, 16 invertebrates, 75 fish, 1 amphibian, and 1 mammal.  Invasion of ANS can occur through many pathways including aquarium and live bait releases; horticulture and water garden aquatic plant sales and use; escape from aquaculture facilities; attachment to boats, trailers, waders and other water/outdoor recreation equipment; attachment to barges and other commercial vessels; and connections between waters and watersheds.  The best defense against ANS is prevention.  Once an ANS becomes established it is very difficult and expensive, or impossible, to achieve complete eradication.  Please explore the MRBP website to learn more about ANS in the Mississippi River Basin and how you can help prevent and manage ANS introductions.

State Agency Members: 

  • Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
  • Colorado Division of Wildlife
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks
  • Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources
  • Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fish
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Mississippi Department of Wildlife Conservation
  • Missouri Department of Conservation
  • Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
  • Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
  • North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • North Dakota State Game & Fish Department
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department
  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
  • Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
  • West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Wyoming Game & Fish Department

Federal Agency Members:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - APHIS
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey - BRD

Canada Federal Agency Member:

  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Regional Member


  • Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA)

Tribal Authority Members

Local Members

Private Envrionmental / User Group Members 

Private Commercial Members

University / Research Members

At-Large Members


Executive Board Members:

  • Immediate Past Co-Chair: Dennis Riecke, Mississippe Department of Natural Resources
  • 2nd Term Co-Chair: Jessica Howell, North Dakota Game and Fish
  • 1st Term Co-Chair: Mike Smith, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
  • Outreach and Education Committee Chair: Luci Cook-Hildreth, Lower Colorado River Authority
  • Prevention and Control Committee Chair: TBA
  • Research and Risk Assessment Committee Chair: Duane Chapman, USGS - Columbia Environmental Research Center
  • MRBP Coordinator: Greg Conover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service