2 Invasive Mudsnails from New Zealand Found in Montana Creek
Aquatic invasive mudsnails from New Zealand were found dead in a Montana creek called Silverbow last week, not far from the Warm Springs Ponds outlet.
Invasive Mudsnails in Montana Creek
Mudsnails have not yet been detected before in the Upper Clark Fork watershed, according to authorities.
According to experts, invasive species have a lasting effect on the local waters.
An aquatic invasive species called New Zealand mudsnails, which can have a long-lasting effect on the local waters was found last week in Silverbow Creek close to Warm Springs Ponds’ outlet.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, this is the first time mudsnails have been spotted in the Upper Clark Fork watershed.
Only two dead mudsnails have so far been discovered in Silverbow Creek by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff, but more surveys will be done once the weather warms up and it is easier to find snails.
The aquatic invasive species can be found in many different Montanan waterbodies.
The snails can rapidly increase in population size and geographic distribution, which could alter the ecology of the waterbodies in which they are found.
They are difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of once they are established.
Invasive Mudsnails from New Zealand
The Madison River in Montana was the first place where New Zealand mud snails were discovered in 1995. Since then, they have spread to the Beaverhead, Bighorn, Jefferson, Upper Missouri, as well as Upper Yellowstone Rivers.
Wading boots are a convenient way to transport New Zealand mudsnails, which can stay alive for weeks without water.
The wading gear used by anglers to move the invasive snail from one body of water to another was most likely the cause of the recent mudsnail introduction.
Prevention is the key to limiting the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Because of this, FWP advises boaters to clean, drain, as well as dry all gear after each use, particularly after accessing infested waters.
Officials also urge locals to report any mudsnail sightings, NBC Montana reported.
Also Read: Invasive Snail Boosts Population of Endangered Bird in Florida
The Montana Lakebook stated that since people spread the invasive snail by moving fish or bait, attaching it to waders and fishing gear, and cloning, it only takes a small mudsnail to infest a body of water.
The snails can also endure days without water by using moist equipment.
By eating algae and many native bottom-dwelling organisms, invasive mudsnails change aquatic habitats and food webs when they are present in large populations.
Additionally, according to Montana Field Guides, fish can transport New Zealand mudsnails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which can survive passage through their guts.
It has traveled throughout Montana on the soles of fishermen’s wading boots, going to various bodies of water.
Additionally, through positive rheotactic behavior, it can move 60 m upstream in three months and float by itself or on mats of green algae.
It has the ability to react to chemical stimuli in the water, such as the smell of fish that are hungry, which causes it to move to the underparts of rocks to avoid being eaten.
Related Article: Invasive, Destructive Giant Land Snails Puts Florida County Under Quarantine
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