Samples for Identification


Please follow the following instructions for bringing in samples for identification. Any specimen that is brought into the office and is identified as an invasive exotic plant will be destroyed in office following recommended procedures. The specimen will not be allowed to leave the office if it is identified as exotic invasive.

Aquatic Plants

Using a Tupperware, mason jar, or other container with a tight fitting lid, scoop some of the lake water containing the plant into the container. After closing the container, rinse it with clean tap water to remove any and all plant matter from the outside of the container.

Make sure that the container used is large enough to hold a generous sample. A generous sample of a clumping aquatic weed could be visualized as a medium sized grapefruit. A generous sample of algae may be visualized as a medium orange.

If the sample is of a grass or tall weed, please bring at least two full stalks including some roots and flowers if they are present. This sample must be contained within a zip top plastic bag or inside a knotted garbage bag.

Please do not bring in samples unless they are inside of a container or tied bag. This helps us prevent the spread of exotic plants into our natural areas.

Terrestrial Plants

Please place any plant material needing identification inside a zip top bag or knotted garbage bag. This helps us prevent the spread of exotic plants into our natural areas.

A quality sample will be fresh, in a closed zip top bag, and include enough plant material for an accurate identification.

  • Grasses: Please include a "clump" that includes the entire blade, down to the roots, and any flowering structure or seed head that may be present.
  • Tree or Shrub: Please include a section of branch at least 1 foot in length. If the branch forks in many places, please include at least 1 fork in the sample.

Fish, Wildlife, or Reptiles

If the critter you are trying to identify is dangerous, please call animal control.

Any critters brought in for identification must be contained inside a carrier of some sort that prevents it from escaping or causing harm.

If you believe the animal to be dead, please enclose the specimen inside of a carrier or bag before transporting. Venomous snakes can remain dangerous and capable of biting via reflex for up to an hour after death.


If the critter is determined to be exotic and invasive, it will be destroyed in office utilizing humane and recommended procedures or given to the appropriate authorities.