SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – The invasive New Zealand mudsnail has been discovered in Lake Tahoe, officials announced on Thursday.
According to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, divers recently found the mudsnail in parts of Tahoe's south shore. It's the first time the potentially disruptive mudsnail has been detected in Tahoe, the agency said.
"It is critical that everyone remain vigilant and adhere to the mantra of Clean, Drain, and Dry," said TRPA Executive Director Julie Regan in a statement.
Scientists and divers are now being deployed to survey the extent of the infestation.
Exactly how the species got to Tahoe has not been determined, but officials are urging visitors to be diligent about efforts to clean, drain, and dry boats before slipping into any new body of water.
Officials say the New Zealand mudsnail are of particular concern due to their small size – often being smaller than a grain of rice – and how fast they can outcompete native species.
Along with California, officials say the New Zealand mudsnail has been detected in 21 other states.
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