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Montana FWP intercepts mussel-fouled boat in Dillon

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Boat Inspection

David Helms, an inspection station specialist for Missoula County Weed District and Extension, inspects a boat for various invasive species at Clearwater Junction on July 3, 2019. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks inspected more than 110,000 boats and other watercraft as of last Friday. That’s up from just under 110,000 inspected in 2018 through the state’s program to stop the spread of invasive mussels, plants, and other wildlife.

For the first time this year, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks intercepted a boat fouled with invasive mussels. 

Fish, Wildlife and Parks and their partner agencies have about 40 boat inspection and contamination stations deployed around the state, in an effort to keep boaters from carrying invasive zebra and quagga mussels into the Columbia River Basin. If they establish themselves there, scientists warn they could cause hundreds of millions' of dollars worth of damage by clogging infrastructure and altering fisheries. 

On Monday, Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced that its Dillon inspection station intercepted a Canada-bound boat with invasive mussels. 

"The mussels were found on the motor and were dried up and dead," the agency stated in a press release. "The inspectors could not conduct a hot water decontamination because of freezing temperatures. The watercraft was locked to the trailer, and officials in Canada were notified and will follow up with their own inspection."

When carrying a watercraft, motorists are required to stop at all watercraft inspection stations. For more information on the state's regulations and inspection station locations, visit

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