DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - The White Earth Nation and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are responding to a report that faucet snails were discovered in a container of leeches purchased at a bait shop in the Otter Tail/Becker County area.
After sampling area ponds, faucet snails were found in several located on tribal and non-tribal lands in the area.
In an effort to prevent the further spread of faucet snails, White Earth officials have temporarily closed the infested tribal land ponds to public access and leeching until further investigations are completed. Additional inspections are underway.
White Earth Natural Resources and the DNR are asking that all leech harvesters, bait dealers and anglers, tribal and non-Indians, thoroughly inspect their leeching equipment, boating equipment and bait containers for faucet snails, as well as any other aquatic invasive species, to further prevent any spread.
The faucet snail is an aquatic snail native to Europe that was introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1870s. Presently, the faucet snail is classified as an unlisted non-native species and introduction into the wild is illegal.
Because of its potential impacts to waterfowl, the DNR is currently in the process of designating the faucet snail as a prohibited invasive species, which means importation, possession, transport and sale will also be prohibited.
More information about aquatic invasive species is available at www.mndnr.gov/ais.
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