Montana Public Radio

Aquatic Invasive Species

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and partners this year intercepted more than twice as many boats carrying invasive mussels as any other year.

During a virtual summit Wednesday, Thomas Woolf, aquatic invasive species bureau chief with FWP, said the majority of the 35 mussel fouled boats came from the Midwest, including a sailboat with live mussels headed for Coeur d’Alene.

Westslope cutthroat trout.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Wildlife officials plan to poison the fish in a southwestern Montana creek and two lakes and then restock the water bodies with a native species of trout.

 

Watercraft inspectors in Montana have intercepted a record number of boats carrying invasive mussels this season.

Watercraft inspections are used to prevent aquatic invasive species, like quagga and zebra mussels, from spreading into Montana's lakes and streams.
Courtesy Montana FWP

State wildlife officials say a record number of boats carrying invasive mussels have already entered Montana this year.

There have been 18 boats detected at check stations throughout the state so far in 2020, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau Chief Thomas Wolf.

Watercraft inspections are used to prevent aquatic invasive species, like quagga and zebra mussels, from spreading into Montana's lakes and streams.
Courtesy Montana FWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has detected over a dozen boats with various aquatic invasive species on board so far this year. The detections come as more and more boats are lining up at inspection stations.

An aquatic invasive species inspection station in Montana.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Testing of Montana waterways this year turned up no instances of invasive mussels, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Wednesday.

Under state policy, the agency will move to lift restrictions placed on Canyon Ferry Reservoir east of Helena after one suspicious water sample in 2016.

A view from the depths of Flathead Lake.
David Colombo / Innerspace Science

There was something odd bubbling beneath the surface of Flathead Lake earlier this summer, but it wasn’t a lake monster. It was a submarine. Two, in fact. The subs' pilots were there to help cash-strapped researchers physically see the mostly unexplored depths of Flathead Lake for the unforgettable price of free.

An aquatic invasive species inspection station in Montana.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A coalition of state, federal, tribal and private organizations dedicated to protecting the Columbia River Watershed from aquatic invasive species (AIS) met in Polson Wednesday. They said building connections between local groups and water managers will be crucial to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in Montana.

A boat at the Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Flathead Lake Biological Station added a new monitoring site in Polson Bay last month that could help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and generate valuable information about the ecosystem.

Jim Elser, director of the Station, says near Polson the lake is shallower and warmer than at the other monitoring station, and sees different kinds of use.

Aquatic Invasive species watercraft inspection station.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature last week tweaked the way it raises money to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels in Montana waterways. The budget to do so remained about the same, but who’s paying for it changed a little.

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