Montana Intercepts 50th Mussel-Fouled Boat This Year, Well Surpassing Last Year’s 35 Watercraft

Last week watercraft inspectors at Montana’s Nashua watercraft inspection station intercepted an outboard motorboat with mussels on the transducer, gimbal and other areas of the transom. The motorboat was traveling from Lake Erie to Kalispell. This is the 50th mussel-fouled boat intercepted this year, surpassing the total number of 35 mussel-fouled boats intercepted in 2020.

The Nashua watercraft inspection station, located on Highway 2, is operated by the McCone Conservation District under a contract with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Statewide, 94,800 watercraft inspections have been conducted this year, slightly down from the 112,300 number of inspections conducted at this time last year.

The check stations are part of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Columbia River Basin Team watercraft inspection network. Four Pacific Northwest states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana), along with British Columbia and Alberta, make up a network of inspection stations that protect the Columbia River from introductions of zebra and quagga mussels. The stations work cooperatively to share and track watercraft fouled with invasive mussels.

Zebra and quagga mussels can clog pipes and mechanical systems of industrial plants, water systems, utilities, locks, and dams.

FWP reminds anyone transporting motorized or nonmotorized boats into Montana that an inspection is required before launching, and stopping at all open watercraft inspection stations is required. Failing to stop at an inspection station can result in a fine of up to $500.

Boaters should ensure their watercraft, trailer and all equipment that is in contact with water (anchor, lines, swim ladder, etc.) is clean, drained of water and dry.

Learn more at CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.

— CBB, April 30, 2021, REPORT SHOWS NORTHWEST WATERCRAFT INSPECTIONS IN 2020 INTERCEPTED 107 MUSSEL-FOULED BOATS, UP FROM 2019 https://www.www.www.cbbulletin.com/report-shows-northwest-watercraft-inspections-in-2020-intercepted-107-mussel-fouled-boats-up-from-2019/

— CBB, Nov. 20, 2020, INTERIOR ISSUES REPORT DETAILING ACTIONS ‘SAFEGUARDING THE WEST’ FROM INVASIVE MUSSELS WITH FOCUS ON COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN https://www.cbbulletin.com/interior-issues-report-detailing-actions-safeguarding-the-west-from-invasive-mussels-with-focus-on-columbia-river-basin/

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