LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Department of Wildlife wants anglers to help stem the spread of New Zealand mud snails in southern Nevada.

The snails are only about six millimeters long. But once they become established they can take over a waterway, reaching densities exceeding 500,000 per square meter.

Mud snails were discovered last fall in Beaver Dam Wash near the Utah line. Biologists say they likely hitched a ride on someone’s gear or clothing.

To prevent spreading, NDOW says to wash and then dry clothing and gear for at least 48 hours before using them to wade or fish in another body of water.

Another option is to have two sets of gear — one for use in infected waters and the other in waters known to be free of invasive species.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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