MTPR

invasive species

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

Some boat launches on Tiber Reservoir will be closed this summer to lessen the likelihood of contaminating other Montana lakes and rivers with invasive mussels.

Boaters will only be able to launch from the Tiber Marina and the VFW Campground, where inspectors will be on hand to check for invasive hitchhikers before and after launch, and decontaminate boats if necessary.

Watercraft inspection station sign.
Katrin Frye

State and tribal agencies are opening mandatory boat check stations this week to screen incoming watercraft for invasive species, like zebra and quagga mussels.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will open an inspection station at its regional office in Kalispell Thursday, March 15. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will open the Ravalli check station on Friday, March 16. The station along I-15 in Dillon will open Saturday, March 31, with more stations opening on a rolling schedule leading up to Memorial Day.

 Fly fishing
File photo (PD).

Concerns over aquatic invasive species have led Yellowstone National Park officials to ban the use of felt sole boots or waders and to set a boating season during which watercraft inspections will be available.

Park officials say rubber sole boots will be allowed because they trap fewer organisms and can be cleaned with water and a scrub brush.

The boating season will run from May 26 through Nov. 4.

All watercraft entering the park must have a boat permit and a Yellowstone aquatic invasive species inspection before launching in the park.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is offering a $100,000 award for new approaches to eradicate invasive quagga and zebra mussels from open water.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is offering a $100,000 award for new approaches to eradicate invasive quagga and zebra mussels from open water.

The Bureau opened a prize challenge competition last December to generate new ideas to wipe the mollusks out of open water, something that’s never been done before.

That green and brown gunk is a mix of algae, plankton and bits of genetic material that hold the answer to whether Flathead Lake has mussels in it. One sample comes from 9 meters deep, the other from the surface.
Nicky Ouellet

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Thursday announced it detected additional evidence of invasive mussels in one eastern Montana reservoir last summer. The detection raises a few red flags.

FWP found microscopic invasive baby mussels in Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs for the first time in the fall of 2016. But the state agency and its partners didn’t find any last summer.

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