Officials want help to prevent spread of invasive mudsnail

Photo: MI DNR

BALDWIN, Mich. (AP/WLNS) – It’s a tiny snail that is on the verge of causing big problems in Michigan waters.

Michigan officials are asking people who fish in the Pere Marquette River to help prevent spread of the New Zealand mudsnail.

The invasive snails were discovered last year in the river near Baldwin.

They’re only about one-eighth of an inch long and hard to spot. But the Department of Natural Resources says they can reach extremely high densities and out-compete native species that are important food for trout.

They have no nutritional value for trout that eat them, which makes those fish less healthy.

The mudsnails commonly become attached to fishing equipment, wading gear and hard surfaces, which helps them move to new rivers or lakes.

Officials say anglers can prevent that by cleaning boats and equipment with hot water or a diluted beach solution after use.

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