Another aquatic invasive species (AIS) survey season for Montana’s fish, wildlife and parks is coming to an end.
Early detection teams from FWP and its AIS partners surveyed more than 300 waters around the state, collecting more than 2,200 early detection samples for new populations of mussels, snails, clams and invasive aquatic weeds.
Early detection teams conducted targeted ISA surveys at all state hatcheries, assessed treatments for Eurasian Watermilfoil in the Noxon Reservoir, and supported a scale crayfish survey project. the state.
As noted in a statement, AIS staff worked with various partners on the eradication of Eurasian watermilfoil in Beaver Lake near Whitefish, removal of scented water lilies in Holland Lake, and eradication of Asian clam. in Lake Elmo in Billings.
Several new populations of ISA have been identified in the state, including several species of snails and plants.
The first New Zealand snails detected in natural water bodies in the state west of the Divide have been identified at three new locations, including Beavertail Pond east of Clinton, Mitchell Slough adjacent to the Bitterroot River near of Victor and Big Sheep Creek near Dell.
Tiny mud snails are often transported to new places when the snails cling to plants, muddy boots, or fishing gear.
Invasive red-edged melania snails have been detected in the Gardner River and a hot spring near Beaverhead Rock State Park. These snails were probably introduced into an emptied aquarium.
Investigation teams also identified a new population of Pondweed in Big Elk Creek near Two Dot in the Musselshell River watershed this year. This pondweed is an invasive aquatic plant that can grow in high densities and obstruct the navigation and flow of water for irrigation.
Investigations are still wrapping up for the year, but no evidence of invasive mussels has been found in the state so far this season. If no evidence of mussels is found in the Tiber reservoir, FWP will assess the lifting of mandatory inspection requirements for boats leaving the lake. Final sampling results will be completed by the end of October.
Recreational enthusiasts should ensure that boats, trailers, fishing gear, waders and clothing are clean and free of mud, plants and vegetation, that all water is drained, and that boats and the machines are perfectly dry before entering another body of water.
FWP says aquarium pet owners should never throw aquarium water, plants, or animals into natural waterways.
The public can report sightings of aquatic invasive species to FWP at CleanDrainDryMT.com or by calling 406-444-2440.