Invasive Mudsnails Found in Central Wyoming Lake

Mudsnails are already in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks

By Dillon Tabish

CASPER, Wyo. — Wildlife officials say they have found a new population of an invasive New Zealand mudsnail in central Wyoming’s Lake Cameahwait.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports a single mudsnail can clone itself quickly and colonize a new location with densities as high as 300,000 per square meter, altering water chemistry.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says fish rely on native snails and insects for food, and mudsnails outcompete the native species and provide little nutritional value. Once a mudsnail is established, it’s impossible to eradicate without damaging other parts of the ecosystem.

Outside of Lake Cameahwait, populations of the mudsnails are in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and in the Bighorn, Shoshone and Snake rivers.

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