Agriculture

Invasive snail discovered in Louisiana crawfish pond

RAYNE, LA - An invasive species of snail has forced a farmer in Acadia Parish to shut down his crawfish harvest on a 220-acre field.

The pest, called the apple snail, clogs crawfish trap openings and complicates crawfish harvesting. It has a big appetite for vegetation.

Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, said the farmer was collecting six to 12 crates full of the snails each day of harvest. The snails were blocking the crawfish traps and complicating the harvest so much that the farmer chose to pull his traps out of the field in late January.

Harrell said it’s suspected that the snails entered the field when it was flooded with water from a bayou that flows into the Mermentau River. He said flooding in 2016 probably pushed water out of the Mermentau where the snail has been found for several years.

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