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Invasive mussels found on boat after driver fails to stop at Anaconda inspection station

It's the fourth mussel-contaminated boat to be intercepted this season. A fifth boat with mussels was intercepted at the inspection station near Dillon on Monday.
Aquatic Invasive Species inspections stations starting across Montana
Posted at 4:31 PM, Apr 03, 2024

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) reports a warden found mussels on a ski boat after the driver pulling the boat failed to stop at the Anaconda inspection station last week.

FWP said in a media release that after the warden noticed some mussels on the boat, the driver returned to the inspection station where several more mussels were found. The boat was fully decontaminated and locked to the trailer.

FWP reminds the public that by law, anyone transporting either motorized or non-motorized watercraft must stop at all open inspection stations they encounter to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Montana. The release stated:

Watercraft includes paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, rafts and pack rafts. Nonresidents and residents returning home must have their watercraft inspected before launching in Montana. Watercraft must also be drained of all water before transporting. 

According to FWP the boat, en route to British Columbia from Michigan, is the fourth mussel-fouled watercraft intercepted in Montana this season.

A fifth boat contaminated with mussels was detected at the inspection station near Dillon on Monday.

“Although it might be tempting to drive past an inspection station, boaters need to be aware that it’s up to them to prevent AIS from coming into our state,” Tom Woolf, FWP’s AIS bureau chief stated in the release. "An inspection typically takes less than 10 minutes."

WATCH MORE: Mussel-fouled boat intercepted on opening weekend of inspection season

Opening weekend of watercraft inspection season nabs mussel-fouled boat at Anaconda station

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to help stop the spread of AIS to Montana waters,” Woolf added.

AIS can have devastating impacts on Montana waterways, according to the FWP release, and include non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that can cause harm to Montana's environment and economy.

You can learn more at FWP's Aquatic Invasive Species website or by calling the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.