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Echo Park Lake Faces Invasion of the Apple Snails – and Their Pink Eggs

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Recently restored Echo Park Lake has new, eye-catching addition, but it’s one that’s cause for concern.

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Bubble-gum pink apple snail eggs lined the concrete surrounding Echo Park Lake on Jan. 3, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Since the completion of a two-year, $45 million taxpayer-funded project, bubble-gum pink little masses have been dotting the sides of the lake northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

They’re eggs laid by channeled apple snails, an invasive species that was only spotted in the lake after it reopened in June.

“It seems like an alien egg that’s going to spawn a horror monster that’s going to come out and eat everything in the lake,” said local resident Jared Spring.

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A close-up view of apple snail eggs at Echo Park Lake. (Credit: KTLA)

Apple snails can grow up to the size of their namesake fruit. And it’s possible a lot of them will soon be seen at Echo Park Lake, as each pink clutch averages about 500 eggs, according to the website of the interagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.

“Since they have no natural enemies here, they can reproduce quickly and that happens all the time with introduced species,” Lindsay Groves of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum told KPCC. “If there are any native species in the lake, (the apple snails) will out-compete them.”

City officials are reportedly investigating what to do about the apple snail invasion.

“Once established, there is no way to eradicate all invasive apple snails,” the task force website states.