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Reporting From The Future: SubSurface Episode 1

This is "SubSurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders." I’m Nicky Ouellet, and in our first episode I’m taking us to the Midwest, to lakes where people have been fighting invasive zebra and quagga mussels for decades, to hear, see and smell what could become Montana’s mussel-encrusted future if a full-blown infestation happens here. These stories are reporting from the future.

A clump of Mussels found during a dive at Lake Michigan.
Credit Nicky Ouellet
A clump of Mussels found during a dive at Lake Michigan.

Montana was invaded last summer. Not by land, not by air, but by water. A microscopic alien showed up in water samples from the Tiber Reservoir, opening the door to a wide range of potentially devastating impacts for Montana's fisheries, outdoor enthusiasts and industries.

What happens if Montana fails to stop the coming invasion of zebra and quagga mussels threatening the state's water bodies? "SubSurface" looks into Montana's future (or one possible future) to see how the invasive mussels changed the Great Lakes region, and examines Montana's efforts to detect and prevent their spread.

Do you have a question about Montana's underwater invaders? Want to know more about how zebra and quagga mussels spread, how Montana is confronting the problem, or how states like Wisconsin and Minnesota are dealing with them? Leave your questions in the comment section here, or contact us on Facebookor Twitter. We'll do our best to answer them, and may include your question in a future episode.

SubSurface is a production of Montana Public Radio, with financial support from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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