|The Zebra Mussel
Volunteer Monitoring program was in effect for many months and no one
reported seeing an invasive species. Then in July 2002, a volunteer at
Garrison Lake on the southeast Oregon Coast noted an unusual snail in her
sampling substrate. This picture shows the substrate hanging off the dock in
Garrison Lake – and if you look closely, you’ll see black clumps in the
clumps are New Zealand mud snails. The snails were first found in the Snake
River in the late 1980s and now occur in densities as high as 300,000 to
500,000 per square meter in some rivers in the West, including the Madison
and Yellowstone. Biologists are concerned that they could negatively impact
trout and salmon populations by outcompeting native snails and insects.
Pfand, the volunteer who found the New Zealand mud snails. In January, the
Oregon Invasive Species Council honored Alice with their Eagle Eye Award for
detecting the mud snails. Alice received some publicity for the award, which
was great: The press recognized her contribution and also helped spread the
invasive species message.