Sites across the Great Lakes Basin are assessed to identify and prioritize the most likely points of introduction for new AIS.

  • The size of the Great Lakes Basin presents a challenge for implementing comprehensive early detection for aquatic invasive species.
  • Sites across the Great Lakes Basin are assessed to determine if they are a likely location for AIS introductions based on several risk factors.
  • A regional framework for Great Lakes early detection provides a tool to identify priority sites for AIS early detection efforts across the Basin.

The Great Lakes present unique challenges to early detection efforts, with a surface water area of 95,000 square miles (245,759 square km) and shoreline length of 10,210 miles (17,017 km). To best target early detection efforts across such a large area, sites with the highest risk of new introductions, including movement of species established elsewhere in the Great Lakes Basin, are identified and prioritized.

A systematic method for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing early detection sites was developed as part of the Aquatic Invasive Species Interstate Surveillance Framework for the U.S. Waters of the Great Lakes (the Framework). The method is based on the likelihood that a watch list species could be introduced by any of the key pathways of spread (e.g., shipping, recreational boating, and organisms in trade). To evaluate and prioritize individual locations, the U.S. waters of the Great Lakes and their tributaries were divided into 5,953 standardized units (or “sites”). Analysis of key risk factors found that about 1,800 sites have invasion risk scores greater than zero. The method categorizes high-risk, priority sites for different groups of species: fish, invertebrates, and plants. A comparable site-prioritization system is under construction for Canada.

(For more information see Site Prioritization Methods.)

Fish

Site NameFish Invasion RiskRisk RankLatLong
Chicago/Chicago River Mouth123.5141.88857558-87.56591319
Toledo/Maumee River Mouth100.3241.7111913-83.42145804
Oswego/Oswego River Mouth66.5343.46842096-76.51886751
Portage/Portage-Burns Waterway58.4441.61907151-87.1613257
Buffalo/Niagara River56.6542.89178317-78.82860913
Saginaw Bay/Saginaw River Mouth55.9643.62085142-83.85862071
Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph River Mouth52.9742.13288897-86.43524777
Calumet River Mouth/Lake Michigan50.3841.72117219-87.47669179
Cleveland/Cuyahoga River Mouth47.6941.5298068-81.69785801
East Chicago/Indiana Harbor Canal45.41041.64106776-87.48644047
Evanston/North Shore Channel Mouth44.81142.05594873-87.65556237
Rochester/Genesee River Mouth43.21243.21692886-77.6132729
Grand Haven/Grand River Mouth42.91343.08592214-86.19069645
West Harbor/Marblehead/Lake Erie42.31441.56623232-82.78915278
Green Bay/Fox River Mouth41.51544.50678513-88.0352223
Sandusky/Sandusky Bay38.91641.47541807-82.69666089
Lakeside/ Lake St. Clair37.91742.54476042-82.82420648
Grosse Pointe Shores/Lake St. Clair34.31842.46502467-82.83942696
Detroit River/Rouge River Mouth33.61942.24781757-83.10237223
Milwaukee/Kinnickinnic River Mouth32.42043.03939105-87.87057235
Lake St. Clair/Clinton River Mouth312142.62450312-82.80895097
Fairport Harbor/Grand River Mouth29.22241.73163769-81.32558678
Duluth/St. Louis River Mouth27.52346.79650751-92.11037672
Lorain/Black River Mouth24.92441.49775316-82.14371427
Toussaint River Mouth20.52541.59925601-83.11233643
Erie/Presque Isle Bay20.32642.15878721-80.12405155
Saugatuck/Kalamazoo River Mouth20.22742.68529622-86.24761578
Racine/Root River Mouth17.82842.7114665-87.79822361
Rocky River/Rocky River Mouth17.22941.46230021-81.82147337
Ashtabula/Ashtabula River Mouth17.23041.91969845-80.84326425
Port Clinton/Lake Erie16.43141.49767732-82.91177596
Holland/Lake Macatawa Mouth16.13242.76540429-86.23628464
North Tonawanda/Erie Canal15.53343.06474459-78.89796472
Port Huron/Saint Clair River15.23442.98927758-82.40247056
Irondequoit/Genesee River Mouth15.23543.29602151-77.59184108
Monroe/River Raisin Mouth15.23641.87065468-83.39263539
Marquette/Dead River Mouth14.93746.58355229-87.43055847
Detroit/ Detroit River14.63842.32756096-83.08750052
Lincoln Park14.43941.97580089-87.66515271
Chicago-Calumet Port14.14041.80844983-87.57558315
Vermilion/Vermilion River Mouth14.14141.44135457-82.37424606
Illinois Beach State Park North13.84242.47081142-87.82670558
Eastlake/Chagrin River Mouth12.64341.6644758-81.44991498
Lackawanna/Union Canal12.54442.81254574-78.84850034
Estral Beach12.54542.01942791-83.25521577
Black River Mouth/South Haven11.84642.36494372-86.2926795
Alpena/Thunder Bay River Mouth11.64745.0519179-83.482838
Detroit River Mouth/Gibraltar11.24842.0991662-83.24056731
Detroit River/Belle Isle114942.31661272-82.97861474
Niagara River Mouth/Fort Erie10.95042.9062136-78.93764195

Invertebrates

Site NameInvertebrates Invasion RiskRisk RankLatLong
Duluth/St. Louis River Mouth72.3146.79650751-92.11037672
Toledo/Maumee River Mouth54.3241.7111913-83.42145804
Chicago/Chicago River Mouth52.6341.88857558-87.56591319
Cleveland/Cuyahoga River Mouth48.9441.5298068-81.69785801
Portage/Portage-Burns Waterway42.3541.61907151-87.1613257
Sandusky/Sandusky Bay37.8641.47541807-82.69666089
Marquette/Dead River Mouth36.8746.58355229-87.43055847
Detroit/ Detroit River35.6842.32756096-83.08750052
Oswego/Oswego River Mouth33.7943.46842096-76.51886751
West Harbor/Marblehead/Lake Erie33.51041.56623232-82.78915278
Buffalo/Niagara River33.11142.89178317-78.82860913
Calumet River Mouth/Lake Michigan301241.72117219-87.47669179
Chicago-Calumet Port29.51341.80844983-87.57558315
Milwaukee/Kinnickinnic River Mouth28.31443.03939105-87.87057235
Saginaw Bay/Saginaw River Mouth27.61543.62085142-83.85862071
Grosse Pointe Shores/Lake St. Clair27.21642.46502467-82.83942696
East Chicago/Indiana Harbor Canal25.91741.64106776-87.48644047
Evanston/North Shore Channel Mouth25.61842.05594873-87.65556237
Alpena/Thunder Bay River Mouth24.81945.0519179-83.482838
Rochester/Genesee River Mouth242043.21692886-77.6132729
Lake St. Clair/Clinton River Mouth23.52142.62450312-82.80895097
Rogers City/Calcite22.52245.40439575-83.76440448
Ashtabula/Ashtabula River Mouth22.32341.91969845-80.84326425
Two Harbors21.62447.02606248-91.62495926
Green Bay/Fox River Mouth20.72544.50678513-88.0352223
Buffington and Indiana Harbor Ports18.82641.63382696-87.3780463
Marblehead17.72741.55504414-82.68149283
Erie/Presque Isle Bay17.52842.15878721-80.12405155
Port Inland172945.98740757-85.87580671
Lorain/Black River Mouth16.73041.49775316-82.14371427
Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph River Mouth16.43142.13288897-86.43524777
Detroit River/Rouge River Mouth16.33242.24781757-83.10237223
Fairport Harbor/Grand River Mouth15.73341.73163769-81.32558678
Conneaut/Conneaut Creek Mouth14.93441.96034721-80.50204547
Lakeside/ Lake St. Clair14.53542.54476042-82.82420648
Gary14.33641.62649486-87.26967461
Toussaint River Mouth14.23741.59925601-83.11233643
Silver Bay Harbor13.53847.25817809-91.25424386
Stoneport13.23945.29254316-83.43760894
Grand River Mouth/Grand Haven114043.09417787-86.30124456
Charlevoix10.94145.29005797-85.2886114
Cedarville10.64246.02802606-84.35073233
Racine/Root River Mouth10.54342.7114665-87.79822361
Illinois Beach State Park North10.34442.47081142-87.82670558
Port Clinton/Lake Erie9.94541.49767732-82.91177596
Monroe/River Raisin Mouth9.74641.87065468-83.39263539
Waukegan9.74742.39060926-87.83615578
Holland/Lake Macatawa Mouth9.64842.76540429-86.23628464
Port Huron/Saint Clair River9.44942.98927758-82.40247056
Lackawanna/Union Canal9.15042.81254574-78.84850034

Plants

Site NamePlant Invasion RiskRisk RankLatLong
Chicago/Chicago River Mouth137.7141.88857558-87.56591319
Toledo/Maumee River Mouth114.5241.7111913-83.42145804
West Harbor/Marblehead/Lake Erie75.3341.56623232-82.78915278
Saginaw Bay/Saginaw River Mouth72443.62085142-83.85862071
Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph River Mouth68.9542.13288897-86.43524777
Sandusky/Sandusky Bay64.9641.47541807-82.69666089
Grosse Pointe Shores/Lake St. Clair61.1742.46502467-82.83942696
Oswego/Oswego River Mouth59.8843.46842096-76.51886751
Cleveland/Cuyahoga River Mouth54.6941.5298068-81.69785801
Lake St. Clair/Clinton River Mouth54.11042.62450312-82.80895097
Lakeside/ Lake St. Clair51.61142.54476042-82.82420648
Portage/Portage-Burns Waterway51.41241.61907151-87.1613257
Grand Haven/Grand River Mouth50.21343.08592214-86.19069645
Buffalo/Niagara River49.11442.89178317-78.82860913
Detroit River/Rouge River Mouth48.21542.24781757-83.10237223
Green Bay/Fox River Mouth47.21644.50678513-88.0352223
Calumet River Mouth/Lake Michigan45.61741.72117219-87.47669179
Fairport Harbor/Grand River Mouth39.61841.73163769-81.32558678
Milwaukee/Kinnickinnic River Mouth391943.03939105-87.87057235
East Chicago/Indiana Harbor Canal36.72041.64106776-87.48644047
Evanston/North Shore Channel Mouth35.82142.05594873-87.65556237
Erie/Presque Isle Bay34.82242.15878721-80.12405155
Toussaint River Mouth34.52341.59925601-83.11233643
Rochester/Genesee River Mouth32.72443.21692886-77.6132729
Lorain/Black River Mouth32.22541.49775316-82.14371427
Racine/Root River Mouth282642.7114665-87.79822361
Saugatuck/Kalamazoo River Mouth272742.68529622-86.24761578
Port Clinton/Lake Erie26.22841.49767732-82.91177596
Port Huron/Saint Clair River24.42942.98927758-82.40247056
Holland/Lake Macatawa Mouth243042.76540429-86.23628464
Illinois Beach State Park North243142.47081142-87.82670558
Lincoln Park22.93241.97580089-87.66515271
Vermilion/Vermilion River Mouth22.83341.44135457-82.37424606
Rocky River/Rocky River Mouth22.33441.46230021-81.82147337
Monroe/River Raisin Mouth22.13541.87065468-83.39263539
North Tonawanda/Erie Canal21.83643.06474459-78.89796472
Lackawanna/Union Canal21.43742.81254574-78.84850034
Irondequoit/Genesee River Mouth21.23843.29602151-77.59184108
Duluth/St. Louis River Mouth21.23946.79650751-92.11037672
Ashtabula/Ashtabula River Mouth21.24041.91969845-80.84326425
Detroit River Mouth/Gibraltar18.84142.0991662-83.24056731
Detroit River/Belle Isle18.74242.31661272-82.97861474
Niagara River Mouth/Fort Erie18.24342.9062136-78.93764195
Black River Mouth/South Haven18.14442.36494372-86.2926795
Eastlake/Chagrin River Mouth17.74541.6644758-81.44991498
Detroit River/Amherstburg17.14642.08834963-83.13201376
Waukegan16.94742.39060926-87.83615578
Grand River Mouth/Grand Haven16.64843.09417787-86.30124456
Detroit River/Grosse Point Park16.24942.39634892-82.96358636
Chicago/Chicago River Inland15.85041.89565982-87.67472109