Photo credit: Minnesota DNR
The invasive faucet snail has been confirmed on George Lake within the White Earth Reservation in Mahnomen County.
White Earth Nation official Will Bement, also a State Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee member, contacted the DNR with samples taken by a bait harvester trapping leeches on George Lake.
Faucet snails are much less prevalent than zebra mussels in the state and have different impacts on habitats. Faucet snails are not harmful to humans but they are deadly to waterfowl.
The snail is an intermediate host for three intestinal trematodes that can cause mortality in ducks and coots.
The trematodes killed about 9,000 scaup and coots in 2007 and 2008 on Lake Winnibigoshish, where faucet snails were first confirmed in inland Minnesota waters.
Faucet snails compete with native snails for food and habitat, and they can also clog water intake pipes and other submerged equipment.
There is no current population control method for faucet snails in natural water bodies.
The snails are small animals with coiled spiral shells, about a half-inch long, and look very similar to native snail species found in Minnesota. People spread faucet snails primarily through water-related equipment, such as boats, docks and rafts, and scuba and fishing gear.
The DNR reminds residents of the laws around invasive species such as clean, drain, and dry.
Docks, lifts and rafts need to be dried for 21 days before moving them from one water body to another; and bait, plants and aquarium pets should never be released in Minnesota waters.