Thursday, May 16, 2013

Invasive snails found in Truckee River

Biologists have confirmed the presence of New Zealand Mudsnails in the Truckee River near East McCarran in Reno. These tiny mollusks have no enemies and reproduce exponentially. They vary in size from a grain of sand to 1/8 inch long.
Mudsnails can cover a stream or river bottom, wreaking havoc with local ecosystems. They crowd out the native aquatic insects that provide food for the native frogs and fish. There is no way to eradicate these mudsnails.

Until now, the New Zealand Mudsnail’s presence has been unknown to the Truckee River. The Nevada Department of Wildlife is concerned about the recent mudsnail finding because mudsnails can threaten the Truckee River trout population.
New Zealand Mudsnails can spread naturally by hitching a ride on birds. Most often, they attach themselves to fishing gear or boats. Kayaks and canoes can carry the snails as well.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife requires AIS (aquatic invasive species) stickers on all boats. The price for a sticker (non-resident) is $10 dollars for kayaks/canoes/sailboats, and $20 dollars for motorboats.
Biologists will be conducting additional work to determine how much of the Truckee River is infected, and whether neighboring waterways are infected as well.

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