PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has confirmed the presence of New Zealand mudsnails, an aquatic invasive species, in AZGFD’s Page Springs Fish Hatchery.
Through environmental DNA technology, AZGFD believes wildlife may have introduced the mudsnails from Oak Creek to the Page Springs Fish Hatchery and is conducting surveys to determine the source location. At this time, no adults have been detected in Oak Creek or other nearby locations.
As a result, stockings from Page Springs have been halted, yet AZGFD has been purchasing fish from out-of-state vendors to ensure most waters scheduled to be stocked do indeed receive trout. See the latest trout stocking schedule, or visit AZGFD’s Fish AZ site for reports and updates.
Great opportunities for anglers also remain in Community Fishing Program waters — some were stocked this week with rainbow trout.
Stockings from Page Springs will resume as soon as AZGFD implements a process to ensure New Zealand mudsnails are not transported through stockings. AZGFD on Oct. 9 discovered New Zealand mudsnails in two Page Springs Fish Hatchery raceways during a routine invasive species survey at the hatchery. AZGFD continues to sample more areas and is conducting a treatment in an effort to eradicate the mudsnails from the facility.
The New Zealand mudsnail is an invasive snail that is ovoviviparous (live bearing) and parthenogenic (reproduces asexually). These snails were first found in Arizona in 2002 below Lake Powell in Lees Ferry, and then progressively moved downstream through the Grand Canyon and into Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. Since 2008, they have been known to inhabit the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery.
New Zealand mudsnails are currently listed in Director’s Orders 1, 2 and 3. Please remember to clean, drain, and dry your equipment and gear after every fishing trip.
Read more about aquatic invasive species in Arizona.