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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Montana gets grant to fight invasive mussels

Zebra mussels removed from a boat at an aquatic invasive species check station in Washington.   Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo (COURTESY PHOTO / COURTESY PHOTO)
Zebra mussels removed from a boat at an aquatic invasive species check station in Washington. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo (COURTESY PHOTO / COURTESY PHOTO)

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a $837,000 grant to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to combat invasive mussels, according to a news release. The funds will improve inspection and decontamination stations, purchase equipment, provide camping sites for inspection staff and fund sampling and analysis, among other things.

“Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels is a high priority,” Reclamation’s Montana-area manager Steve Davies said in a news release.

Most of the funding will be used at Tiber Reservoir, near Chester, since it’s the only reservoir in the state to test positive for aquatic invasive mussels in 2016.

“We are always looking for ways to improve Montana’s aquatic invasive species inspection and monitoring programs,” said Tom Woolf, AIS Bureau chief for FWP said in the release. “The improvements being made at Tiber will help make the inspection process better for both boaters and our inspection staff.”

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.

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