Idaho's program to keep invasive quagga and zebra mussels out of the state has seen “encouraging” results, state Agriculture Director Celia Gould told JFAC this morning.
Twenty inspection stations around the state operated for 19 weeks in the past year, and caught eight infested boats. That might not sound like a lot, Gould said, but, “It only takes one.”
And those boats were headed for key Idaho lakes including Pend Oreille, Priest Lake and Henry's Lake. Boats that came through the stations originated in 49 different states, Gould said.
Invasive species boat sticker fees, which were raised last year, were expected to cover the cost, but didn't. Program costs were less than expected, Gould said, at $1 million, “however the actual sticker fees came in lower,” at about $850,000. So there's a $150,000 deficiency warrant for the shortfall, which the state must pay. “This program impacts everyone within the state of Idaho,” Gould said. “It's not just an ag problem, it's not just a recreational problem. It's everybody's problem.” Betsy Russell, EOB
Agree or disagree with Gould's assertion that invasive mussels are “everybody's problem?”