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What are those pink clusters at Lake Murray?

channeled apple snail
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 14:26:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Lake Murray is usually a place to go on an afternoon stroll or even cast a line to catch some fish.

"We come on Mondays because that's when I'm off, and it's quiet," Kim McGraw said.

But lately, nature lovers like McGraw are noticing a slimy trend. Snail shells and pink clusters appear on the trees and plants in the area.

"I thought somebody put gum on the tree," she said. "I literally thought that somebody was chewing Bubblicious Bubble Gum and stuck it on the tree because the duck was eating it."

McGraw and her family weren't the only ones noticing the clusters-cyann derieux and were fascinated by them because she knew they belonged to a snail.

"Yeah, because they're bright pink, and I've seen them before," she said. "I have a pond in my backyard, and there are snails in there."

They have channeled Apple Snail eggs- an invasive species.

John O'Brien Sr., a scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, tells ABC 10News that just means they are thriving in a new environment.

He explained they are originally from South America but the City of San Diego has been aware of their presence at Lake Murray since at least 2015.

O'Brien said the snails pose the biggest threat to plants and agriculture.

The City of San Diego says its team of biologists has been observing these snails for years and has concluded that the snails have had no impact on drinking water quality.

Fish and Wildlife say the best thing to do when you see them is to remove them by freezing them or even crushing them.

"If it was gum, I would not have touched it because it was in somebody's mouth, but since it's not gum," McGraw said.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says to let them know when you see the snails at invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.