Montana Public Radio

boating

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.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Anglers, boaters, farmers and conservationists are all backing a new proposal at the state Legislature to spend $6.5 million fighting aquatic invasive species, but they disagree over who should foot the bill. The measure had its first hearing Monday.

Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.
GlacierNPS

Glacier National Park will begin opening park waters to boaters in the next few weeks with beefed-up inspection requirements put in place after invasive mussels were first detected in Montana in 2016.

Inspection stations that screen for invasive species will begin opening around Lake McDonald and the west side of the park on May 12. East side waters and inspection stations will open June 1.

Divers with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Montana FWP prepare to dive at Tiber Dam to look for adult zebra and/or quagga mussels, August 7, 2017.
Beth Saboe / MontanaPBS

An invasive mussel prevention plan is creating conflict between some recreational boaters and resource managers over access to Tiber Reservoir.

Tiber is the only lake in the state that’s tested positive for invasive mussels two years in a row.