After months of sorting through samples from around Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Service Center in Fitchburg, two additional areas are confirmed to have New Zealand Mudsnails, both in Black Earth Creek where they were originally found.
The first confirmed report of New Zealand Mudsnails in Wisconsin came from samples collected in 2011 and 2012 in Black Earth Creek at the crossing of S. Valley Road about a mile southeast of Black Earth. The additional sites confirmed this year are four miles upstream and about two miles downstream of the original S. Valley Road site.
This year there has been a significant push from the WDNR to sample other locations around the state with the help of volunteers. From the dozens of samples collected and sorted, there has not been other confirmations of New Zealand Mudsnail populations.
USRWA staff and volunteers have joined this effort to help sort through samples. Additionally, USRWA will be building wader wash stations for popular fishing spots in the watershed to encourage people to clean their equipment before leaving the water and prevent the spread of invasive species. Look for updates on that project soon.
To learn more about New Zealand Mudsnails, visit the WDNR’s online factsheet.