State and federal biologists got out on the Salt River Friday to fight back against an invasive snail.

The critter in question is the apple snail, an invasive species pushing the native pond snail out of its habitat.

"There's no natural predators for these guys, even crayfish will find them unpalatable," said Jeff Sorensen with Arizona Game and Fish, who jokingly calls himself "the snail guy."

Experts estimate the snails lay their bright pink eggs every 12 to 15 days, and say one female can produce 15,000 offspring a year.

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Friday, biologists with Arizona Game and Fish and the Tonto National Forest were out knocking apple snail eggs off reeds, where the snail lays them, and into the water. Even though the snails live underwater their eggs cannot.

Sorensen says anyone can do it. "We're asking the public, while they're out here with kayaks and their paddle boards, to help us out," Sorenson said. "Just use your paddle, knock those into the water."

The apple snail was introduced to the river after people started dumping their fish tanks into local waterways. Fish and game says you can help by properly disposing fish tank debris, keeping it out of rivers and streams."It's important," said Basel Shaban, an intern with Game and Fish who was helping out with Friday's expedition. "I love nature in general and I want to keep it the way it should be."

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