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Boat carrying zebra mussels stopped at Anaconda inspection station

News from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

ANACONDA – The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Anaconda watercraft inspection station intercepted a boat carrying zebra mussels on Friday, April 20. The cabin cruiser boat was being transported from Ohio to Puget Sound in Washington. 

The inspection station reported that many mussels were found in the boat’s gimbal area, the trim tabs and several crevices.  

Germaine White, information and education program manager for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has said fouled watercraft are coming in early from out-of-state this year which makes the inspection stations an important prevention measure to protect local waters.   

The boat in Anaconda was wrapped in shrink wrap, and inspectors hot-washed the exterior of the boat to the best of their ability. The inspectors were not able to flush the motors, bilge pump or any other part of the boat. The transporter of the boat was not the owner, and he did not have keys to the boat. 

Officials in Idaho and Washington were notified. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife will follow up with the vessel to wash and possibly quarantine it.

FWP reminds all those transporting motorized or non-motorized boats into Montana to have their watercraft inspected before launching. 

Boat owners are required to stop at all open watercraft inspection stations. To find a watercraft inspection station visit www.cleandraindrymt.com. CSKT also has a website with more information at csktnomussels.org. The CSKT Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation has a check station in Ravalli. 

(Valley Journal reporter Karen Peterson added local information to this story.)

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