Aquatic Invasive Species Alert! New Zealand Mud Snail

The New Zealand Mud snail(NZM), Potamopyrgus antipodarum, is an aquatic invasive species that has now been found in different parts of the Brandywine Creek watershed. Check out this recent article to learn more. This is not our first aquatic invasive, but it sure can cause some havoc to the ecosystem if it continues to spread, passing through the gut of most fish and outcompeting native aquatic life for food.

Native to you guessed it, New Zealand, these critters inhabit freshwater streams and lakes. In New Zealand, NZM do not pose problems because native parasites and predators help to keep their populations in check, but that’s not the case here in the U.S. where they have no natural predators or parasites, and, as a result, have become an invasive species in this country. Check out this site to learn more about their distribution.

As they have been found in the Brandywine Watershed, it’s important to not spread them to other rivers or watersheds. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has suggestions about how to decontaminate your aquatic gear (e.g. fishing gear, water shoes, waders, boats, etc.) and it’s up to each of us to follow these practices to ensure we’re not a part of the spreading pathway.

Tips for preventing the spread of the New Zealand Mud snails and decontaminating gear:

  • Freezing gear for a minimum of six hours.
  • Soaking gear in hot (>120 Fahrenheit) for at least five minutes
  • Dry gear completely for at least 5 days

To learn more, visit the Pa Fish and Boat site

Leave a Comment

You cannot copy content of this page