FWP: No adult mussels, larvae found in Montana waters in 2017
By Eric Jochim - MTN News
Invasive species were first discovered in Montana's waters in October 2016. (MTN News photo)
HELENA - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says no invasive mussel larvae were discovered in Montana waters last year.
FWP stepped up water testing and invasive species prevention efforts after samples taken in the fall of 2016 showed the possible presence of mussel larvae in Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs.
FWP says it took more than 120 plankton tow samples from Tiber and more than 140 from Canyon Ferry and no adult mussels or larvae were found. The state also used divers, mussel detecting dogs, and environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling.
Officials say eDNA testing did detect mussel DNA, but the test is not considered conclusive. The state also increased monitoring of boats to prevent the spread or introduction of mussels in other Montana waters.
More than 85,000 watercraft were checked. Inspectors stopped 17 boats with zebra or Quagga mussels. The state also conducted sampling at 240 different water bodies.
FWP plans to improve the Aquatic Invasive Species inspection program in 2018 with enhanced training, more efficient inspections and expanded early detection monitoring.
For more information on FWP’s efforts to prevent the spread of invasive mussels visit their AIS website.