Boaters returning from mussel-infested waterbodies pose high risk
HELENA – Montana’s watercraft inspectors have intercepted six mussel-fouled boats; the latest boat was stopped at the Anaconda watercraft inspection station on Saturday, April 10.
Inspectors found dry and dead mussels on a used pontoon boat that had been purchased in Minnesota and was destined for Washington state. Inspectors conducted a hot water decontamination before releasing the boat and notifying officials in Idaho and Washington.
In the last two weeks mussels have been found on watercraft returning to Montana from Lake Mohave, Lake Powell and Lake Havasu. These waterbodies are known to be infested with invasive mussels.
“In just one day mussels can enter a live-well or attach to a boat’s hull or transom,” said AIS Bureau Chief Tom Woolf. “Always to be sure your boat is clean, drained and dry when leaving the water. “
All watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected. This includes Montana residents returning from a fishing or boating excursion out of state. Failure to stop at inspection stations could result in a fine of up to $500.
Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of aquatic invasive species, which can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways. Boaters must stop at all watercraft inspections stations they encounter.
Learn more at CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.