Hygrophila polysperma, Caulerpa taxifolia, and Egeria densa are examples of aquatic plants that are banned in Indiana.
The 28 banned species are outlined in the Indiana Natural Resources Commission’s new Rule found on the state of Indiana’s website. Included in the rule are popular aquarium plants like Egeria densa (Anacharis), Hygrophila polysperma (dwarf hygrophila), and Caulerpa taxifolia. While I understand the ban on invasive freshwater plants, I am a bit confused by the inclusion of Caulerpa taxifolia in the rule as the last time I looked, Indiana did not have any saltwater lakes. But I digress.
Indiana has banned these plants in an effort to prevent introduction of these fast-growing invasive species in local waters. These species have the potential for choking out native species if they become well established. According to the Journal Gazette, eradication and management of existing invasive species easily exceeds $1 million dollars if lake association and Department of Natural Resources budgets are pooled.
This rule becomes effective August 31, 2012 and bans the sale, offering for sale, gift, barter, exchange, or distribution of any of the listed species. If you are a hobbyist in Indiana like I am, you should make yourself familiar with the list so that you can become compliant with the new rule.
According to the new rule, the only way you can legally keep these species are if:
- you have a permit issued by the state entomologist stating you can keep them
- you are a person engaged in a project approved by the state entomologist for the destruction of a species
Any store or individual that has these plants in inventory will need to get rid of them in the proper fashion. Contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at (317) 234-3883 for instructions in their proper destruction.