[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 202 (Thursday, October 19, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61793-61794]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-17403]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Draft National Management and Control Plan for the New Zealand 
Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of the draft ``National 
Management and Control Plan for the New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus 
antipodarum).'' The draft was prepared by the New Zealand Mudsnail 
Working Group of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force. We are 
seeking public comments on this draft document. Comments received will 
be considered during the preparation of the final national management 
and control plan, which will guide cooperative and integrated 
management of Zealand mudsnails in the United States.

DATES: Submit your comments on the draft ``National Management and 
Control Plan for the New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)'' 
by December 4, 2006.

ADDRESSES: The draft document is available from the Executive 
Secretary, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA, 22203; FAX (703) 358-
1800. It also is available on our Web page at http://
www.anstaskforce.gov/. Comments may be hand-delivered, mailed, or sent 
by fax to the address listed above. You may send comments by e-mail to: 
NZmudsnailPlan@fws.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Newsham, Executive Secretary, 
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, at scott_newsham@fws.gov or (703) 
358-1796.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus 
antipodarum) is indigenous to New Zealand and its adjacent islands. In 
New Zealand, the snails have been found in nearly every aquatic habitat 
including large rivers, forested tributary streams, thermal springs, 
ponds, glacial lakes, and estuaries. Over the past 150 years, New 
Zealand mudsnails have spread in three continents.
    Three different clones of New Zealand mudsnails have been 
identified in the United States: one is found in Lakes Ontario, Erie 
and Superior and is the same as Clone A found in Europe; the second is 
found in nine western States, having spread out from an initial 
population in the Snake River in Idaho; and the third has recently been 
identified in the Snake River, Idaho. It is speculated that the eastern 
U.S. clone came in ballast water from Europe and the western U.S. 
clones came from the commercial movement of aquaculture products such 
as trout eggs or live fish from Australia or New Zealand.
    The introduced populations of these tiny snails (up to 6 mm) are 
mostly all female, and the snails are live bearers. Males are present 
only rarely in North America. Densities of New Zealand mudsnails 
fluctuate widely, reaching

[[Page 61794]]

500,000 snails per square meter in some locations.
    A database established on the ``New Zealand Mudsnail in the Western 
USA'' Web site (http://www.esg.montana.edu/aim/mollusca/nzms/) is being 
used to track new populations and keep people informed about the latest 
research. A map showing affected watersheds is kept current by the 
Department of Ecology at Montana State University-Bozeman.
    In 2003, the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF), which is 
authorized by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control 
Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 4701 et seq.), established the New Zealand 
Mudsnail Management Plan Working Group (Working Group) to create a 
national management and control plan for New Zealand mudsnails. The 
goal of the national management and control plan for New Zealand 
mudsnails is to prevent and delay the spread to new areas of the United 
States, reduce the impacts of existing and new populations, and 
continue developing information to meet this goal. The Working Group 
developed the following objectives: (1) Identify foci, pathways and 
vectors; (2) develop methods of detecting new populations; (3) develop 
strategies and methods to control and manage populations; (4) develop 
further understanding of ecological and economic impacts; and (5) 
increase public understanding of the need to deal with New Zealand 
mudsnails and gain political support for implementing national plan 
objectives.
    We are seeking public comments on all aspects of the Working 
Group's draft ``National Management and Control Plan for the New 
Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum).'' Submit your comments by 
the date listed in DATES using one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES.

    Authority: The authority for this action is the Nonindigenous 
Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 4701 
et seq.).

    Dated: September 25, 2006.
Everett Wilson,
Acting Co-Chair, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, Acting Assistant 
Director--Fisheries & Habitat Conservation.
 [FR Doc. E6-17403 Filed 10-18-06; 8:45 am]
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