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Invasive Species Program

What does the Invasive Species Program do?

The mission of the Invasive Species Program is to reduce the negative effects of non-native invasive species on the wildlands and waterways of California. We are involved in efforts to prevent the introduction of these species into the state, detect and respond to introductions when they occur, and prevent the spread of invasive species that have become established. Our projects address problems with introduced animals and plants, both terrestrial and aquatic. More fundamentally, we try to identify and address the ways by which the species are introduced, typically inadvertently, by human activities. Studies show that preventing introductions is the most effective and cost-efficient way to manage invasive species. We conduct our work in coordination with other government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

What makes a species “invasive,” how they got here, and why they are a problem.

What's new in the Program?

2018 California Invasive Action Week: June 2 - 10

The 5th annual California Invasive Species Action Week will be held June 2 through June 10, 2018. Visit the CISAW page or email us at to find out how you can get involved as a partner organization, event host, or as an individual. Check back soon for updates!

New Quagga / Zebra Mussel Regulations

On February 10, 2016, the California Office of Administrative Law issued a Notice of Approval of Regulatory Action for CDFW's proposed dreissenid mussel regulations. These new regulations, Title 14, sections 672, 672.1, and 672.2, developed under the authority of Fish and Game Code sections 702, 2301, and 2302, became effective April 1, 2016. Visit the Quagga / Zebra Mussel Management page for more information.

Nerodia Watersnake Trapping

To protect California's native and special status fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, CDFW has implemented an eradication project for northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon; non-venomous) in Roseville and, beginning in spring 2017, Florida/southern watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris) in Folsom.

Trapping efforts for the 2016 season have ended, but will resume in spring 2017. Persons interested in assisting the Department with trapping and removing watersnakes should read the link opens in new windowvolunteer solicitation for project details and go to link opens in new windowCDFW’s volunteer website to create a volunteer profile. Scheduling for volunteer slots will resume in March 2017. All new project volunteers must coordinate their start date with the volunteer coordinator to schedule the required safety/protocol training on their first day. Volunteers under 18 are welcome, but require a parental consent form on file; volunteers under 16 require adult supervision.

For more information about Nerodia watersnakes, visit our species profile pages or join link opens in new windowCalifornia Nerodia Watch. For questions about the project or volunteering, please contact

All Nerodia watersnakes are restricted in California (14 CCR 671) and may not be imported, transported, or possessed without a permit from CDFW.

New Aquatic Invasive Species Identification Poster

The Invasive Species Program has developed a new outreach poster to aid in the identification of six invasive species that threaten California's freshwater environments. link opens in new windowView the poster (PDF), or look for it on display in a CDFW office or hatchery. Would you like a copy of the poster to display? Contact us at to request one.

Habitat Conservation Planning Branch
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-4875