The woodland pondsnail is a strictly freshwater snail that is primarily found in oligotrophic lakes (lakes with poor nutrients). Because of this they are sometimes used as indicators of trophic lake stages due to the fact that they will not be found in lakes high in nutrients.

They are predominately distributed throughout Eastern Canada, Nova Scotia, to North and South Dakota and the Great Lake region to Hudson Bay, Lake Winnipegosis. But they are also found in parts of Alaska, South America and Southern Asia. Typically in shallow water along the shoreline; they tend to stick to the silt or sand substrates among woody debris in the mud because they prefer to live in the sheltered areas to avoid predation.

A factor that determines the survival of the woodland pondsnail is the growth of Phragmites, which is an invasive marsh plant that has been found to reduce the populations of Stagnicola catascopium in the lakes it invades. (Haynes, 2005)

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