Flathead Basin Commission wants more boating closures due to invasive mussel threat

Mussel-fouled Propeller - NPS photo
Mussel-fouled Propeller – NPS photo

Regional officials are not happy about the recent detection of invasive mussels in Montana’s Tiber and Canyon Ferry reservoirs . . .

A group tasked with protecting the aquatic resources of the Flathead River drainage is urging state officials to close the Canyon Ferry and Tiber reservoirs to all boats as evidence mounts that both of the Central Montana water bodies now harbor invasive mussels.

The Flathead Basin Commission is including the closure recommendations in a letter to Gov. Steve Bullock, drafted last week at the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station. It was the commission’s first meeting after the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Nov. 9 announcement that the long-feared presence of invasive mussels had been confirmed in Tiber Reservoir — the first such detection in the state.

Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Nation both closed all their waters to boating within days of the state’s announcement and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service followed suit by closing a popular recreation pond that supplies water to its hatchery in Creston.

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Also read:
Consequences of invasive mussels could prove costly (Daily Inter Lake)
Invasive Mussel Larvae Found for First Time in U.S. Northwest (Flathead Beacon)