Montana flexing muscles over musselsNews Type: State, Regional Source: Lethbridge Herald
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Aquatic Invasive Species Solutions, a Montana-based, private company dedicated to preserving mussel-free waters, will be conducting a pilot study of a boat monitoring program this summer to better understand and prevent the spreading of mussel larvae between lakes.
In the fall of 2016, Montana wildlife officials detected larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Timber Reservoir and suspected samples at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, the Mils and Missouri Rivers. The discovery prompted Governor Steve Bullock to declare a state-wide natural resource emergency, temporarily closing many bodies of water in the state to all boating, including Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park.
Currently, the only line of defence against future infestations of Aquatic Invasive Species is mandatory boat inspections. The boat inspection process can be labour intensive, inconsistent from one agency to another, cost taxpayers and is nearly impossible to visually detect mussel larvae.