State official admits ‘gaps’ in invasive mussel screening

MISSOULA, Montana (AP) — Montana’s aquatic invasive species coordinator says there have been some “gaps” in efforts to prevent the spread of invasive mussels at Tiber Reservoir, where larvae of invasive mussels were detected two years ago.

The Missoulian reports the acknowledgement by Liz Lodman came after Caryn Miske – a critic of some of the state’s aquatic invasive species prevention efforts – said three inspection stations at Tiber Reservoir southwest of Chester were not operating as they should.

Miske says a boat went through an inspection station without the live wells being drained and without the bait well being inspected.

She says two entry points open to “certified boaters” who last boated at Tiber were unstaffed, which would allow non-certified boats to launch without being inspected.

The state is spending millions of dollars to try to prevent the spread of mussels, which can clog infrastructure and devastate ecosystems.

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