RI Senate votes to punish release of invasive fish

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The Rhode Island Senate is taking aim at invasive animals in the Ocean State’s lakes and rivers.

The Senate unanimously passed legislation Wednesday that would prohibit the release of non-native fish or invertebrates into state lakes, rivers or wetlands. Individuals who violate the new law would face fines of up to $500.

Sen. Paul Fogarty is the bill’s sponsor. The Glocester Democrat says his measure will protect native wildlife and prevent invasive species from gaining a foothold in the state.

The bill also directs state environmental officials to study the problem of invasive freshwater species and figure out ways to prevent animals like the zebra mussel and snakehead fish from colonizing Rhode Island.

The House is considering similar legislation.

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