HELENA – Dogs trained to detect aquatic invasive species have alerted Montana officials to the presence of invasive mussels in two reservoirs.
Officials say the dogs smelled mussels in the Tiber and Canyon Ferry reservoirs, although officials have been unable to verify that mussels are actually present. Eileen Ryce of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department says mussels can be the size of a sesame seed when they first settle in.
Water sampling this fall produced a positive test for the larvae of quagga or zebra mussels at Tiber, the first such positive test in the state. Water tests at Canyon Ferry were inconclusive.
The mussels have caused problems in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, where they have clogged irrigation and hydropower infrastructure and negatively impacted aquatic wildlife.
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