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Prohibited and Restricted Invasive Species

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Prohibited and Restricted Invasive Species

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Under the Invasive Species Act, 2015, Ontario is now prohibiting or restricting selected invasive species to prevent their arrival and control their spread in the province.

When considering whether to regulate an invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry assesses the risk that it poses to Ontario. This involves looking at its biological characteristics, risk of harm to the natural environment, ability to disperse, and its social and economic impacts.

Prohibited Invasive Species

It is illegal to import, possess, deposit, release, transport, breed, buy, sell, lease or trade the following prohibited invasive species in Ontario:


  • Invasive carp (bighead carp, black carp, grass carp, silver carp)
  • Snakeheads
  • Stone moroko
  • Wels catfish
  • Zander

Exception: dead and eviscerated (gutted) bighead carp, black carp, grass carp, silver carp, zander and snakeheads can be imported, transported, purchased and sold in Ontario.

Aquatic invertebrates

  • Golden mussel
  • Killer shrimp
  • Yabby (crayfish)


  • Brazilian waterweed
  • European water chestnut
  • Hydrilla
  • Parrot feather
  • Water soldier

Exception: the incidental movement in water of European water chestnut and water soldier, in waters where these species are already present, is not restricted but the incidental or intentional movement of European water chestnut and water soldier over land is prohibited.

Restricted Invasive Species

In Ontario, it is illegal to import, breed, buy, sell, lease, or trade the following restricted invasive species in Ontario:

  • Dog-strangling vine
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Phragmites

Additional restrictions apply for these species in provincial parks and conservation reserves. It is illegal to bring them into, transport them, deposit or release them in these protected areas.   

Report invasive species sightings to the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or by using the free EDDMapS Ontario app on a smartphone. 

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