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Faucet snails invade Winnie, Mississippi

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outdoors Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/all/themes/bemidjipioneer_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Faucet snails invade Winnie, Mississippi
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The presence of faucet snails in parts of the Mississippi River, Leech River, and Little Winnibigoshish Lake has been verified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Those areas will be designated as infested waters.

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The infested waters designation will include the Mississippi River downstream of the Lake Winnibigoshish Dam in Cass and Itasca counties, including Little Winnibigoshish Lake, to just below White Oak Lake. It will also include the Leech River downstream of the Mud Lake Dam in Cass County.

Faucet snails have been linked to waterfowl deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish and the Upper Mississippi pool system in southeastern Minnesota. Their recent movement out of Winnie is not surprising. The faucet snail population in Lake Winnie has been increasing since they were first documented. Last year they were found near the dam.

To help stop the movement of these snails to other waters, new regulations will take effect along the designated river sections and Little Winnibigoshish Lake.

Once designated an "infested water," state law prohibits the transport of water from these waters without a permit. State law also prohibits anglers or commercial bait harvesters from harvesting bait from these waters without a permit.

These sections of the Mississippi and Leech rivers and Little Winnibigoshish Lake are particularly popular for waterfowl hunting in the fall.

Before leaving a water access on the river or lake and traveling on a public road those boating, angling, canoeing, or waterfowl hunting must:

E Remove all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, decoy lines, waders, and all other equipment.

E Remove all drain plugs from boats.

E Drain all water from bilges, livewells and bait containers.

It is illegal to transport infested water on a public road. It is also illegal to transport a boat down a public road without removing the drain and livewell plugs.

Anglers who have live bait that they want to use again must drain infested water from the bait container and replace it with tap, spring, or other non-infested water. Anglers, boaters and hunters should also check their boats, anchors, waterfowl decoys, push poles, waders, and the inside of bait containers for mud, aquatic plants, and the snails and remove them before visiting another water body.

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 Winnie and the last six years on the Mississippi River near Winona. There is no evidence that the parasite will adversely affect fish species or wildlife other than waterfowl. Anglers can eat fish from these lakes and rivers without worry of the trematode.

The presence of faucet snails in parts of the Mississippi River, Leech River, and Little Winnibigoshish Lake has been verified by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Those areas will be designated as infested waters.

The infested waters designation will include the Mississippi River downstream of the Lake Winnibigoshish Dam in Cass and Itasca counties, including Little Winnibigoshish Lake, to just below White Oak Lake. It will also include the Leech River downstream of the Mud Lake Dam in Cass County.

Faucet snails have been linked to waterfowl deaths at Lake Winnibigoshish and the Upper Mississippi pool system in southeastern Minnesota. Their recent movement out of Winnie is not surprising. The faucet snail population in Lake Winnie has been increasing since they were first documented. Last year they were found near the dam.

To help stop the movement of these snails to other waters, new regulations will take effect along the designated river sections and Little Winnibigoshish Lake.

Once designated an "infested water," state law prohibits the transport of water from these waters without a permit. State law also prohibits anglers or commercial bait harvesters from harvesting bait from these waters without a permit.

These sections of the Mississippi and Leech rivers and Little Winnibigoshish Lake are particularly popular for waterfowl hunting in the fall.

Before leaving a water access on the river or lake and traveling on a public road those boating, angling, canoeing, or waterfowl hunting must:

- Remove all aquatic plants from boats, trailers, decoy lines, waders, and all other equipment.

- Remove all drain plugs from boats.

- Drain all water from bilges, livewells and bait containers.

It is illegal to transport infested water on a public road. It is also illegal to transport a boat down a public road without removing the drain and livewell plugs.

Anglers who have live bait that they want to use again must drain infested water from the bait container and replace it with tap, spring, or other non-infested water. Anglers, boaters and hunters should also check their boats, anchors, waterfowl decoys, push poles, waders, and the inside of bait containers for mud, aquatic plants, and the snails and remove them before visiting another water body.

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 Winnie and the last six years on the Mississippi River near Winona. There is no evidence that the parasite will adversely affect fish species or wildlife other than waterfowl. Anglers can eat fish from these lakes and rivers without worry of the trematode.

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Pioneer staff reports
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