Invasive Snail Species Found In Northern Michigan, What DNR Wants People To Know

The DNR and the Grass a river Nature Area in Antrim County are urging people in Northern Michigan to be on the lookout for New Zealand Mudsnails after Shanky Creek was found infested.

Olympus Digital Camera

Mud Snails

“Whether you’re out there in a kayak, on the river, or you’re out there fishing… they’re so very small,” said Joanne Foreman, DNR. It’s easy for them to attach to your wader…or your gear… or your kayak.”

The snails were first discovered in Idaho’s Snake River in 1987. Since then, they’ve spread throughout Western States and into the Great Lake, attaching themselves to boats and equipment.

Although research is still ongoing for mudsnails, the species is negatively impacting our ecosystem.

“They they are out-competing native macro-invertebrates, which are normally what trout eat. The trout may turn to eating them, but the problem is that they can survive digestion,” said Emily Burke, Conservation and Environmental Specialist for the Grass River Natural Are.

Mud Snails Map

Invaded river systems in Michigan, to date. Red dots indicate locations with confirmed presence of New Zealand mudsnails. Map courtesy of Jeremy Geist, Trout Unlimited.

This is the 6th river system in Michigan known to be infested.

The DNR and Grass River say there are a few ways people can help eliminate the mudsnail population

“First of all, report that you saw them,” said Burke. “The most important thing people can do to prevent their spread is decontaminate their gear after being in a certain water-way that may be, or is infested.”

They are also suggesting if you come across any mudsnails, to report them online.

Categories: Michigan This Morning