Biologists find freshwater shrimp in the Boise River

Photo courtesy John Cassinelli/Idaho Fish and Game

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says a recent survey of the Boise River lead to a surprising discovery, freshwater shrimp.

F&G says the shrimp were discovered near Warm Springs Golf course and that they are commonly known as grass or ghost shrimp, which are native to the lower Mississippi River.

Biologists say the shrimp are often sold as pets, and they believe these shrimp likely were dumped from an aquarium into the river, or they escaped from a private pond.

“That’s my best guess,” said Regional Fish Biologist John Cassinelli in a press release. “Those are the most likely explanations for how they got there.”

Fish and Game says it found the first shrimp while doing a fish survey that involves send a mild electric current through the water to stun the fish, which are then counted.

Biologists say they wondered if there could be more of the shrimp, so they returned later and did the test again, which resulted in finding several more, including an egg-carrying female.

Officials say they don't know how many are in the river but that they believe they won't cause any problems.

Fish and Game says while the shrimp appear harmless, it serves as a reminder to not dump non-native species into Idaho waterways.

Biologists say the recent find joins a growing list of other odd finds in the local waters.

Last year, officials say they found a South American 11-inch-long Plecostomus, or sucker-faced catfish, dead in the Boise River. They are common aquarium fish.

Fish and Game says other finds include pacu, tilapia, Oriental weather fish, goldfish, koi, and more.

They also have reports of amphibians not native to the area being found, like soft shell tortoises or snapping turtles.

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