GREAT FALLS – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced on Tuesday that an $837,000 grant has been awarded to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to combat invasive mussels in Montana.
The money will be used to improve inspection/decontamination stations; provide campsites for inspection staff; purchase inspection and decontamination equipment, materials and supplies, outreach materials, storage sheds, and shelters; and also provide for sampling and analysis.
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“Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels is a high priority for Reclamation,” said Reclamation’s Montana Area Manager Steve Davies. “The state of Montana is taking a leadership role with inspection and decontamination stations throughout the state. This funding will assist them with needed resources and equipment for two ‘at risk’ reservoirs: Tiber and Canyon Ferry.”
Most of the money will be used at Tiber Reservoir, near Chester, since it’s the only reservoir in the state to test positive for aquatic invasive mussels in 2016.
A large portion of the money will be used to construct a new campground loop and inspection site near Tiber Marina to provide needed campsites for inspection staff. A portion of the funding will also be used at Canyon Ferry Reservoir, near Helena, since a suspect sample was collected there.
“We are always looking for ways to improve Montana’s aquatic invasive species inspection and monitoring programs,” said Tom Woolf, AIS Bureau Chief for FWP. “The improvements being made at Tiber will help make the inspection process better for both boaters and our inspection staff.”
For more information about the grant or Montana’s efforts to fight aquatic invasive species, contact the FWP fisheries office at 406-444-2440 or visit CleanDrainDryMT.com.
More information about the efforts to prevent invasive water species can be found on the FWP website.
-David Sherman reporting for MTN News