EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Two species commonly found in home aquariums have invaded the native habitat of plants and wildlife in two Jackson County ponds.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will soon begin draining the two Jackson County Sports Park Ponds off Highway 140. Once drained, ODFW workers will focus on eliminating the Chinese Mystery Snail and Brazilian Elodea.
Neither species is native to Oregon and ODFW officials say both have a negative impact on the local environment. The snail and plant species are believed to have been dumped in the pond by people emptying out aquariums. ODFW officials are hoping to stop the problem at these two small ponds before the species spread to other waterways in Southern Oregon.
“We don’t want those snail to escape those two ponds before we get rid of them and then spread and, for instance, get into wildlife area ponds here on Denman or other places of the Rogue,” said Dan Van Dyke, a fish biologist at ODFW.
ODFW previously tried to stop the snail problem at the ponds by introducing low levels of copper sulfate. While the previous attempt killed thousands of the invasive snails, it did not solve the problem. The Brazilian Elodea was just discovered at the ponds in the past year.
ODFW officials warn to never release pets or fish into the wild, and if you see someone doing so, you are asked to report it to ODFW.