POLSON – A study done by the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station has found invasive aquatic mussels could cost the state $230 million annually.
The report found that three economic sectors face great impact if invasive mussels were to become established in Montana waters. They are recreation, infrastructure and irrigation.
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Zebra and quagga mussels can destroy lake and river ecosystems, clog water pipes and pumps that feed dams and farmland. They can also cover boat launches and beaches.
Mussel larvae were detected in Canyon Ferry and Tiber reservoirs in 2016, prompting the state to vastly expand water testing, monitoring, and watercraft inspection.
Since then, no adult mussels have been found in Montana waters.