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Invasive species of snail adversely affecting crawfish, rice crops in Louisiana

Crawfish Pond
Crawfish Pond(Source: WAFB)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 9:15 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - According to a recent report from the LSU AgCenter, a foreign, invasive species, the apple snail (pomacea maculata), is now negatively impacting two Louisiana staples: crawfish and rice.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) says the apple snail reportedly first appeared in a bayou in Gretna in 2006 and quickly infested ponds, bayous, and streams in about 30 parishes across the state. The LSU AgCenter says the snail has impacted crawfish farms in Vermilion, Acadia, and Jefferson Davis parishes and has also now appeared in rice fields.

LDAF says back in March, the snails reportedly wiped out a 50-acre field of rice, marking the first reported case of the species damaging the crop in Louisiana.

“It is imperative that each of us works diligently to protect Louisiana from these pests. Pests often find their way into the ecosystem by people releasing aquatic animals and ornamental plants in areas they should not,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “I urge everyone to be mindful of the damage that can be done when non-native pests and plants are introduced into the environment. Take the giant salvinia, for example. It is an exotic fern from South America that is fast-growing and has wreaked havoc on lakes and ponds by destroying native plants that provide food for animals and also clogs the waterways.”

For more information about invasive species, click here, or call 225-952-8100.

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