Eye On Boise

No quagga mussels in Idaho, Washington yet; plenty of close calls...

A boat that was inspected at the Washington State Patrol’s Cle Elum Port of Entry weigh station was found to be contaminated with invasive mussels and was decontaminated in Anacortes this summer.
A boat that was inspected at the Washington State Patrol’s Cle Elum Port of Entry weigh station was found to be contaminated with invasive mussels and was decontaminated in Anacortes this summer.

Tens of thousands of boat inspections later, Idaho and Washington have come through another boating season without getting invasive quagga or zebra mussels established in either state's waters - but there were plenty of close calls. Idaho intercepted 24 mussel-contaminated boats entering the state, and Washington decontaminated 20. While most were coming from the heavily infested Great Lakes region, nearly half were Northwest-bound from federal waters in Arizona and Nevada - and that has officials in both states concerned.

"Mussel-fouled boats continue to leave infested waters without proper decontamination," Idaho Department of Agriculture Celia Gould said. "The federal government needs to do a better job of containing infestations in their waters and preventing the spread of these species to the Pacific Northwest states."

Allen Pleus, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the good news is this: "To our knowledge, there are no established or known detections of zebra or quagga mussels in any Columbia River Basin locations, including British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. So we're the last great water basin without these species in the United States." You can read my full story here from Sunday's Spokesman-Review.
 




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Betsy Z. Russell




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