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No invasive mussels found in Montana waters so far in 2019

More than 112,00 watercraft have been inspected so far this year
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Posted at 4:03 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 16:26:18-05

Montana’s watercraft inspection stations set another record for boats inspected in 2019, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks on Wednesday.

More than 112,00 watercraft have been inspected so far this year, surpassing last year’s number by 3,000 inspections. Inspectors have intercepted 16 boats with invasive mussels coming into the state.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitoring crews have surveyed 300 unique bodies of water across Montana for aquatic invasive plants and animals. No mussel veligers or adult mussels were detected in the waters of Montana this year.

That news has prompted FWP to initiate the process to lift the quarantine restrictions on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. If the restrictions are lifted, the Canyon Ferry certified boater program would end, and Canyon Ferry inspectors would shift to a mobile roving inspection crew.

The certified boater program on Tiber Reservoir will remain in place for the next two years. In 2016, invasive mussel larvae were detected in multiple water samples from Tiber Reservoir, which requires a five-year quarantine period. Canyon Ferry reservoir had one suspect sample that dictated a three-year quarantine period of mussel-free water samples.

An amendment to an administrative rule is required to change the quarantine restrictions on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. A decision is expected by spring 2020.

To learn more about AIS, visit http://cleandraindry.mt.gov/ .