UPPER SUGAR RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION: Monitoring & Managing New Zealand Mudsnails


The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association proposes to conduct public education to reduce the spread of New Zealand mudsnails (NZM) discovered in the watershed in Badger Mill Creek in September 2016 and to utilize volunteers to determine the extent of the infestation in the Upper Sugar River watershed. Monitoring will be conducted six times each at 10-15 prioritized sites after volunteers are trained in a stream monitoring protocol (provided by WDNR and WAV) specific to NZM detection and in proper gear disinfection. Qualitative data will be collected at each site to extend the understanding of habitat preferences in the Driftless Area. The USRWA will also field test handheld steamers for disinfection use by volunteers. Public education will include volunteers building 20 wader wash stations and installing them with the River Alliance of Wisconsin at high traffic access sites. The USRWA volunteers will inventory AIS signage presence, loss and condition in the watershed to update the River Alliance\2019s existing database. They will also install signs as needed. Youth AIS education will be conducted in the Verona and Mount Horeb school districts for approximately 100 students.

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Aquatic Invasives Grant
Aquatic Invasives Early Detection and Response
Reports and Documents
In September 2016, New Zealand mudsnails (potamopyrgus antipodarum) were discovered in Badger Mill Creek during a routine stream monitoring session by Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. This project was proposed because it's unknown what the impact NZM will have on the overall ecosystem in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, their small size, ability to reproduce asexually, and operculate shell makes them a prime candidate to spread via animals or recreationalists. Research indicates NZM has no native predators in Wisconsin, and offer no nutritional value to fish or other species. The immediate fear is NZM will outcompete native snails, daphnia, and other lower food chain species and create major problems in the future.
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Grant Awarded
Grant AIRR22117 awarded