Michigan ecologists scour rivers for invasive mud snails

MANCELONA, Mich. (AP) - (11/22/16) - More than 20 Michigan rivers and tributaries in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas have been scoured for signs of an invasive mollusk that was discovered in the state last year.

MLive reports Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality ecologists have been searching the waters for New Zealand mud snail in "high risk" sites in rivers such as the Betsie, Platte, Manistee and Rogue.

Experts are worried the species could become a disruptive nuisance like the invasive zebra and quagga mussels if large populations overtake Michigan's inland waters.

Dave Mahan, retired director of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, says the snails are easy to miss because they're so small.

The snail was first discovered in the U.S. nearly 30 years ago. There are three known genetic variations in the country.

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