Methods of risk assessment for alien species, especially for nonagricultural systems, are largely qualitative. Using a generalizable risk assessment approach and statistical models of fish introductions into the Great Lakes, North America, we developed a quantitative approach to target prevention efforts on species most likely to cause damage. Models correctly categorized established, quickly spreading, and nuisance fishes with 87 to 94% accuracy. We then identified fishes that pose a high risk to the Great Lakes if introduced from unintentional (ballast water) or intentional pathways (sport, pet, bait, and aquaculture industries).
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