The mud snail is an average of 1/8 of an inch long but can be as small as a grain of sand. It has a gray-brown cone-shaped shell that consists of five whirls.

They can live in all kinds of waters — from silted river bottoms to clear mountain streams.

The mud snail can tolerate temperatures from 32 to 77 degrees but prefers temperatures of about 66.

They reproduce asexually, so it only takes one to start a whole new population.

Mud snails can survive out of water for several days. Snails will frequently collect between laces and tongue of wading boots and in a boot's felt sole.

Precautions fishermen should take

1. Thoroughly clean and rinse all equipment before leaving a fishing site.

2. Completely clean and dry all equipment before using again. Can also spray with Clorox Formula 409 and scrub with a stiff brush.

3. Hot temperatures kill the mud snail — 113 degrees for 60 seconds will kill 100 percent of the snails. Also, leaving waders in the hot sun for a period of time will kill the snails. Putting waders in the freezer for six to eight hours will also kill the snails.

4. Never release fish into any water it did not originate in. Mud snails can live up to 25 days if they are left in a moist environment, such as inside waders, live wells or cooling systems.