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Aquatic Invasive Mussels

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Emergency restrictions approved in effort to contain invasive mussel spread

Dec. 1, 2106 —The Montana Mussel Response team today announced immediate temporary emergency restrictions on the launch or removal of all boats, docks, and other structures for Tiber and Canyon Ferry reservoirs.

Matt Wolcott, Incident Commander for the State’s Mussel Incident Response Team, said the restrictions are necessary to prevent the potential spread of invasive aquatic mussels from the two reservoirs to other uncontaminated water bodies in Montana and elsewhere.

The restrictions were approved this afternoon by the directors of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP).

“This closure prohibits the launch or removal of any boat, dock, or other structure that could potentially transport mussels,” said Wolcott. “The closure will remain in effect until ice-up on the reservoirs.”

Wolcott said the Response Team, which includes officials from DNRC and FWP, will reassess whether to extend the closure following ice breakup in spring.

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Photo of docks

Docks at Canyon Ferry Reservoir inspected by divers, dogs

Timeline

Friday, 12/2/16
• Restrictions enacted on Canyon Ferry and Tiber Reservoirs for launching or taking out boats or docks until ice over. At the time of the restrictions, ice over was in process on both reservoirs. The restrictions help protect Montana waters from transmittal of aquatic invasive mussel larvae from both reservoirs. We are entering a period of very low transmittal risk due to cold temperatures, which prevent mussels from reproducing and larvae from surviving.

Thursday, 12/1/16
• About 100 water samples are sent to a lab in Colorado for testing. These are samples taken in Montana at various times in the past five months. Samples are currently being processed at labs in Montana, California and Colorado. Results expected within two weeks.

Monday, 11/28/16
• The interagency Montana Mussel Response Team begins meeting in Helena. The team is comprised of experts from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council. The team implements an incident command structure to respond to the discovery of aquatic invasive mussels.

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