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Snail that causes waterfowl die offs found in Montana lake

August 19, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials say a kind of snail that’s native to Europe and can lead to the death of waterfowl has been found in a lake in Pondera County.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said the faucet snails were discovered by a fisherman who turned them in for identification. They were found in Lake Frances near Valier in northcentral Montana.

The spiral-shelled creatures grow up to a half-inch long and host parasites that kill waterfowl. They have been blamed in several die-offs of American coots on Georgetown Lake since 2006.

Lake Frances is privately owned but open to recreational access.

The snails also have been found in Smith Lake and McWennegar Slough near Kalispell, Rattlesnake Reservoir near Billings, Upsata Lake near Ovando and the Flathead River.

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