Whether this is an indication of a very busy aquatic invasive species season in Montana remains to be seen.

But considering check stations that have already been opened have only been on the job a short time, a second detection within an 8-day span could be a sign. And no big surprise as to where the suspect watercraft was coming from.

Montana’s second mussel-fouled watercraft was intercepted at the Dillon watercraft inspection station yesterday (Monday). Inspectors drained water from the live-wells and found mussels in the screens. Due to freezing temperatures a full decontamination could not be completed. The boat owner was returning to Montana from Lake Mohave, Arizona, a heavily mussel-infested body of water. Last week's detection was reported from a watercraft coming from Michigan, another part of the country where mussels have a made a stronghold.

Boaters are reminded to drain all water before transporting watercraft. All watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected. Watercraft must be drained of all water before transporting.

Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS) which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. Boaters must stop at all watercraft inspections stations they encounter.

Once established, there are few if any means to control AIS in natural waterbodies.  Control efforts are very expensive and total eradication is very unlikely. If you have questions or concerns, you can call the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440. And of course you can always learn more at the Montana Clean Drain Dry website.

 

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