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Sunday, December 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Idaho boat check spares Washington from invasive mussel exposure

In this July 6, 2009 file photo, Andrew Munoz, of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, holds up a rock covered with the invasive quagga mussels at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nev. A regional power planning group from Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana is pursuing $2 million from the federal government to help fend off the menace of invasive mussels that have clogged Colorado River reservoirs since 2007. These states and others say they're frustrated by the number of boats that continue to come from Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona over their borders infested with quagga and zebra mussels. (AP / Felicia Fonseca)
In this July 6, 2009 file photo, Andrew Munoz, of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, holds up a rock covered with the invasive quagga mussels at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nev. A regional power planning group from Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana is pursuing $2 million from the federal government to help fend off the menace of invasive mussels that have clogged Colorado River reservoirs since 2007. These states and others say they're frustrated by the number of boats that continue to come from Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona over their borders infested with quagga and zebra mussels. (AP / Felicia Fonseca)

BOATING -- An on-the-ball Idaho law enforcement officer and a southern Idaho invasive species watercraft inspection station may have saved Washington future grief with invasive mussels.

Two points to highlight in this blurb from S-R Boise blogger Betsy Russell:

  • Despite all the publicity about the infestation of Lake Mead and the perils of spreading invasive mussels to Northwest waters, this boat hauler illegally bypassed a mandatory stop at a watercraft inspection station.
  • The boat was headed through Idaho to Western Washington waters.

A boat being hauled into Idaho from Nevada bypassed a state inspection station, was stopped by a Twin Falls County sheriff’s deputy and escorted back to the check station, and was found to be contaminated with live quagga or zebra mussels – the invasive mussels Idaho’s boat inspection program is specifically designed to keep out of the state and the region. The boat was impounded by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, and will be released in the next 30 days only after “a thorough and complete decontamination.”

The contaminated boat had been purchased recently in Nevada, after being moored in Lake Mead; it was being hauled through Idaho on its way to Auburn, Wash. ISDA reports that since 2009, the state has inspected more than 300,000 watercraft and identified 145 that were carrying quagga or zebra mussels.

Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the only states in the West still free of invasive quagga and zebra mussels, which can cause massive damage to waterways, fisheries, irrigation facilities and more.

You can read ISDA’s full announcement here; there’s more info here.



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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