New Zealand Mudsnails in Black Earth Creek.

New Zealand mudsnails (NZMS), tiny invasive snails measuring a mere four to six millimeters, were confirmed in Black Earth Creek in western Dane County at the end of October. The snails, discovered in a sample from 2012, have the potential to harm the celebrated trout fishery of Black Earth Creek and other streams in our area by displacing the native macroinvertebrates that sustain a trout's diet. (NZMS provide little to no nutritional value to trout.)

Wading anglers and other river users are being asked to help curb the spread of NZMS by cleaning their gear before moving between streams, and implementing the following measures:
• Inspect your gear, clean off mud and plant material and drain all water.
• Scrub your equipment with a stiff, synthetic bristled brush.
• Rinse equipment with tap water after scrubbing clean.
• Freeze clean, dry equipment for 6 to 8 hours. Really wet equipment will require longer.
• Completely dry equipment. Scrub all debris and mud off gear before drying for a minimum of five days. This will not be effective for felt soled boots or other porous materials that remain damp. New Zealand mudsnails can survive in slightly moist environments for weeks.

As more remedies are identified, we will pass that information along.