Zebra Mussels

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

Idaho continues to try and keep invasive mussels out of its waterways with a new agreement with Utah.

Idaho has been trying to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of lakes and reservoirs since 2009. The state operates inspection stations along its borders to track down boats that may be contaminated with the invasive species and keep them out of Idaho waters.

Tom Britt / Flickr Creative Commons

Zebra mussels are knocking at Idaho’s door.

Montana, Utah and Nevada all have the invasive species, which attach to boats and can spread easily from different bodies of water. They can kill native lake species and cost millions of dollars in damage and mitigation. They first appeared in the Great Lakes after Eastern European boats introduced them in the 1980s.

 

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Officials from across the U.S. Northwest hope it's not too late to contain invasive mussels found for the first time in Montana.

State Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials announced Nov. 8 that larvae were discovered in the Tiber Reservoir, The Spokesman-Review reported.

During a meeting of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region coalition in Boise this week, officials from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and three Canadian provinces discussed the troubling development.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Idaho officials intercepted a boat Tuesday on U.S. Highway 93 that was carrying a potentially harmful invasive species.

The boat was moored in Lake Mead, Nevada, which is infested with quagga and zebra mussels. When it entered Idaho, the owners were required to stop at one of the state’s 16 inspection stations to ensure none of the invasive species were brought into the state.

But Lloyd Knight, with Idaho’s Department of Agriculture, said that’s not what happened.

Preparing For Zebra Mussels In The Pacific Northwest

Apr 1, 2013

Invasive zebra mussels could soon be heading toward the Pacific Northwest. So, researchers are working to protect and prepare the region’s waterways.

In the Great Lakes region, the mussels have caused $1 billion worth of damage. If zebra mussels make it to the Pacific Northwest, they could clog hydroelectric dams and irrigation systems, and damage salmon habitat.

So, researchers have received at $630,000 grant from Bonneville Power to figure out when and how zebra mussels will reach the Columbia River Basin.