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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:20am - 9:40am
ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Inclusion of New Zealand Mud Snails in the Diet of Benthic Foragers

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AUTHORS. James Beaubien, Jerrod Lepper, Mitchell Nisbet, Samantha Stanton, Daniel Hayes – Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

ABSTRACT. New Zealand mud snails have recently invaded the Great Lakes region, and during the past 3-4 years, have been found in several rivers in the state of Michigan.  The Pere Marquette River is the first river where this species was detected in inland waters, and the population of mud snails has grown dramatically since first detection.  Fishery managers have concern over the potential impact this species will have on the important fisheries of the Pere Marquette and other rivers, however, little is known about the ecology of this species in the Great Lakes region.  New Zealand mud snails have been documented to be consumed by trout, and have even been shown capable of surviving through their gastrointestinal tract.  Prior to our initial investigation, there have been no inquiries of foraging by other fish species on New Zealand mud snails.  Species like mottled sculpin, white sucker, and redhorse sucker might be anticipated to be more efficient foragers than trout due to their feeding ecology.  As such, we collected specimens of these species at sites infested with New Zealand mud snails and uninfested sites and have found that they do consume New Zealand mud snails in moderate numbers and studies continue into the current year to determine if the presence of mud snails alters their foraging preferences.  

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am CST