Pilot program to protect Flathead Basin from mussels facing challenges

A legislatively mandated pilot program designed to enhance protection from invasive mussels in the Flathead Basin is facing challenges on two fronts.

As part of HB 622, the Legislature gave the Flathead Basin Commission authority to establish and manage the Upper Columbia pilot program. The program would add more certification stations, track vessels that require decontamination, and add the use of automated inspection and detection devices.

The commission also could petition the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules for the Flathead Basin that would require inspection of all vessels before they launch; prohibit or restrict some vessels, including waterborne airplanes and aquatic weed harvesters; and close waters where invasive mussels have been detected until a containment strategy was implemented.  Click on the following two links below to access the full story.

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