Tribal leaders declare emergency over invasive mussels in Montana

With more than 2,300 lakes and ponds, 1,500 miles of rivers, and 30,000 miles of brooks and streams, the Adirondack region is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of AIS. Once established, AIS such as zebra mussels can spread rapidly through connecting waterways or by "hitchhiking" on the propellers, trailers, rudders, and motors of recreational boaters' and anglers' vessels.


KALISPELL, Mont. — Tribal leaders in Montana have declared a formal emergency over invasive mussel larvae in reservation waters and Flathead Lake.

The Flathead Beacon reports ( ) that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes declared the emergency last week. The resolution calls for the formation of an incident management team in response to larvae found in Tiber and Canyon Ferry reservoirs, the Milk River near Malta and the Missouri River near York. The tribal team would work with the state and other groups fighting the invasive species.

Invasive mussels rapidly multiply and can damage beaches, clog boat motors and dams, harm fish and wildlife and damage infrastructure. Traces of contamination are so far restricted to the Missouri River Basin, but there is potential for mussels to spread by clinging to the hulls of boats.

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