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Posts tagged: zebra mussel

NW Power Council wants federal aid to combat invasive mussels

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which is meeting in Boise today, is calling for a $2 million federal investment in blocking invasive quagga and zebra mussels from leaving Lake Mead - pictured here - on infested boats and traveling to the still-uninfested waters of the Northwest, including Idaho. The four-state group, which also includes Montana, Oregon and Washington, wants the federal aid to add watercraft inspection and decontamination stations to intercept boats carrying the rapidly multiplying, thumbnail-sized mollusks that could wreak havoc on Columbia River hydroelectric dams, farmers' irrigation systems and lakes prized for recreation, the AP reports. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

The council's two-day meeting in Boise continues today at the Hampton Inn downtown; today's meeting, which runs through the morning, includes discussion of wind power integration, transmission, progress on collaborative efforts to protect salmon in the Lemhi River watershed, and activities by the Columbia Basin Trust.

Invasive mussels on the move toward Idaho, the Northwest

North Idaho Rep. Eric Anderson's nightmare involves invasive quagga and zebra mussels slipping into Idaho's waterways and altering the very nature of the state. “It scares me, it really does scare me,” said Anderson, R-Priest Lake. He was a featured speaker Tuesday at the Idaho Environmental Forum, a periodic forum on environmental issues facing the state, and he had a chilling warning: Only five states - Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana - have yet to be invaded by the tiny, fast-reproducing shellfish that chokes out native species and encrusts everything that touches the infested water. And more and more mussel-infested boats are being intercepted on the way to Idaho, with the vast majority coming from the Lake Mead area.

Two more fouled boats were caught on I-90 in North Idaho on Friday, for a total of 41 so far this year - and the summer boating season is just beginning. If mussels show up in “any waterway in the Northwest here, it's going to eventually end up in the Columbia and out to the ocean,” Anderson said. “We're going to lose this whole system.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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