Invasive Species Found in Live Bait Container Raises Concerns
The Minnesota DNR says faucet snails were discovered in a container of live bait purchased in Northern Minnesota. The snails are an invasive species and carry a parasite that can be deadly to ducks.
"It's a real concern according to Peter Sorensen, a professor of Wildlife and Fisheries at the University of Minnesota. Sorensen is the Director of the new Minnesota Center for Aquatic Invasive Species Research. "It's very reasonable for transmission of things from one place to another ... particularly live bait, might carry something with it."
Brad Parsons is a Regional Fisheries Manager with the Minnesota DNR. He says the live bait industry needs to help by self policing. "It's a big industry, it's an important industry. We in Minnesota love to fish with live bait because it works. As with anything when you're moving animals and you're moving water, you're just going to have to be vigilant."
The DNR’s Parsons says the agency is working on developing an environmental DNA test that could be used to check live bait wells for the presence of invasive species.