Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nasty Snail in Crow Wing River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will designate the Crow Wing River in Hubbard, Wadena, Todd, Cass and Morrison counties as "infested waters" later this month because the faucet snail has been found there. The snail is linked to waterfowl deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish and the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.

The faucet snail was first noticed in nearby Upper and Lower Twin lakes and the Shell River in Wadena County last fall. The Twin lakes and the Shell River are connected to the Crow Wing River, so the recent detection of the faucet snails is not a surprise.

New regulations will take effect along the river to help stop movement of the faucet snail to other waters. Once designated “infested water,” state law prohibits the transport of water from the Crow Wing River without a permit. It also prohibits anglers or commercial bait harvesters from harvesting bait from these waters without a permit.

The Crow Wing River is a particularly popular river for canoeing and tubing. Before leaving a water access on the Crow Wing River and traveling on a public road, people boating, canoeing, tubing or angling must also:
· Remove all aquatic plants and sediment from boats, trailers and other equipment.
· Drain all water from bilges, livewells and bait containers.

Faucet snails are hosts to parasitic trematodes, a small intestinal parasite believed to have contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of diving duck species such as scaup and coots in the past three years on Lake Winnibigoshish, and the last six years on the Mississippi River near Winona.

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