Idaho’s state Department of Agriculture plans to open its first boat-inspection stations of the season tomorrow, near Bruneau where highways 51 and 78 intersect, and near Marsing on Highway 95. An additional check station on U.S. 93 just north of the Nevada state line will open on Saturday; all will operate seven days a week. The idea is to check all watercraft and equipment - motorized or not - for invasive quagga or zebra mussels. The department said in an announcement, “It is important that boaters arrive in Idaho with a clean, drained and dry watercraft.”
The fast-reproducing invasive mussels can be carried from one waterway to another on boats, in live wells and buckets and elsewhere; the tiny mussels “feel like sandpaper to the touch” when carried on the hull of a boat, the department said. It advises washing watercraft thoroughly before bringing them into Idaho, preferably with hot water; draining all water; and letting watercraft dry for five days between launches. Additional check stations will open in North Idaho and elsewhere in the coming weeks; for more information, contact the department at (208) 332-8686.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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