MTPR

Aquatic Invasive Species

Invasive species decontamination in Montana includes some firefighting aircraft
Nicky Ouellet

Non-native species in Montana have a way of making their presence known.

In June a KULR TV reported this from near the Ft. Belknap reservation:

“Trooper Matt Finley says the driver of the vehicle swerved to avoid hitting a kangaroo,” said Angela Marshall.

Dead invasive zebra mussels found on a boat passing through an AIS check station.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

Some boats coming into Montana from Lake Powell will be locked to their trailers for a mandatory quarantine period of up to 30 days in response to the threat of invasive mussels.

All boats coming into Montana are already required to be inspected for invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels, which have caused millions of dollars of damage to hydropower dams, irrigation systems and personal property in infested waters in other states.

Dead invasive zebra mussels found on a boat passing through an AIS check station.
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks

More than 50,000 watercraft have been inspected at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks aquatic invasive species check stations across the state.

So far this year, 12 boats with invasive mussels have been found during those checks. Most recently three boats with invasive mussels were found at the Anaconda inspection station on July 18.

Boat propeller encrusted with invasive mussels.
National Parks Service (PD)


Montana’s Environmental Quality Council is trying to find a fair way to raise $6.5 million a year to fund the state’s aquatic invasive species program that screens boats for potential costly invaders. 

Awareness of mussels in Montana, 2017 and 2018.
UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

More Montanans are aware of the threat of invasive species this year compared to last year. That’s according to a new study by the University of Montana.

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