New Zealand mudsnails are attacking the Kelsey Creek watershed. These invasive snails may be tiny, but they reproduce at anything but a snail’s pace, spreading rapidly by cloning and damaging habitat as they spread. The snails have little nutritional value and crowd out native invertebrates that fish and other aquatic life eat.
- Learn more about New Zealand mudsnails and how they arrived in Bellevue through a story map.
- The mudsnail map shows where the snails have been observed and their infestation levels.
Help prevent the spread of snails
New Zealand mudsnails can hitch a ride on boots, clothes, animal fur and fishing gear, and be carried by streams and stormwater to new locations. The mudsnails are tiny and easily mistaken for a small pebble. Once established, there is no way to control these fast-growing snails. That’s the bad news. The good news is that residents can help prevent their spread.
- Keep pets out of streams and lakes. If your dog wades into the water, carefully dry off or brush him/her on dry land. Focus on paws and bellies.
- Carefully scrub off any debris or mud from waders, boots, or clothing that has come into contact with streams, lakes or mud. Freeze these items overnight — or let them completely dry out for 48 hours. The mudsnails can survive out of the water for weeks.
- Drain any stream or lake water collected in gear or equipment before you leave a site. Rinse off the gear in clean, potable water away from any body of water and let it dry completely for 48 hours before reuse. Do not flush rinse water down the storm drain; it’s connected to our creeks and can reintroduce mudsnails.
Other invasive species
Bellevue streams are also at risk from other aquatic invasive, including invasive zebra mussels, recently discovered in certain brands of purchased aquarium moss.
- The state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Invasive Species Council recommend that anyone who thinks their aquarium may be carrying invasive mussels to utilize the Washington Invasive app or online reporting form.
- Never release aquatic pets such as goldfish or turtles into local streams or lakes.
- Drain and clean aquariums indoors or in a location where the water cannot reach a nearby storm drain or body of water.
- Snail identification
- New Zealand mudsnails throughout King County
- State Department of Fish and Wildlife New Zealand mudsnail decontamination procedures.