What is Brittle (European or Spiny) Naiad?

Water plants underwater

Brittle Naiad (Najas minor) is a submerged aquatic invasive plant with thin stiff leaves that have serrated edges. The serrations on leaf edges are visible without magnification. Native versions of naiad also have serrated leaves but these are tiny and require magnification to observe. Leaf arrangement may be opposite or in whorls or clumps. Brittle naiad is most often found in water depths of 2 to 15 feet in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving streams. This plant, like many aquatic invasives, creates dense mats and inhibits the growth of native plants making fishing, swimming, or recreational boating difficult and unpleasant. This plant fragments readily making it easily spread by boats, waterfowl, or water currents. Waterfowl eat this plant and can move it between water bodies.

How do we stop it?

Clean, Drain, and Dry: Always clean, drain, and dry your boat, paddle gear, and footwear after use. This prevents the transfer of organisms between water bodies.

  • Clean all plant stems and fragments and mud from boats and trailers before leaving your lake or river and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
  • Empty all water from your gear well before moving to a new body of water.
  • Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water.
  • Clean out waders and wading boots before moving to a new body of water.
  • Dry your boat and gear thoroughly between water bodies by towel drying or drying in the sun for at least 5 days.

Read more about Clean, Drain, and Dry requirements and best practices at the following websites:

Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Lake Champlain Basin Program

If You See It, Report It

You can report invasive species sightings through the iMapInvasives website, the iMapInvasives mobile app, or by contacting the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP).

Volunteer with ADK

You can help ADK survey ponds and lakes for aquatic invasive species such as Yellow Floating Heart, European frog-bit, European Water Chestnut, and Curly Leaf Pond Weed. For more information on the Backcountry Water Monitors Project and upcoming workshops and outings, please visit our website.


Learn More About Brittle Naiad (sources for description above)




Please also see all invasive species of concern for the Adirondack Park: http://adkinvasives.com/species_of_concern/