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Wed., March 9, 2011, 12:52 p.m.

Mussel found in Montana on boat returning from Nevada

INVASIVE SPECIES – Idaho’s Invasive Species program and mandatory boat inspection law got a shot of credibility this week as an exotic quagga mussel was found in Montana on the hull of a sailboat that had been in Nevada’s Lake Mead.

Mandatory watercraft inspections kick in at two sites in North Idaho on Tuesday, according to today's SR story.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials and a volunteer certified mussel inspector found the quarter-inch mussel Saturday during an inspection at the Dayton Yacht Harbor on Flathead Lake. The mussel appeared to be alive, according to an Associated Press report.

The sailboat had been decontaminated at Lake Mead in Nevada and was inspected by the Idaho Department of Transportation.

Montana officials were notified by the Columbia River Basin Network inspectors last Friday that the decontamination might have been inadequate.

The local inspection led to further decontamination. The boat is in dry dock and won’t be launched for at least two months.

Quagga and zebra mussels can cover beaches with sharp shells, foul boat motors and moorage and overwhelm a lake’s ecosystem.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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