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Keeping The Gem State Quagga Mussel Free

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Keeping the noxious weeds out of southern Idaho is the job of the Twin Falls County Noxious Weed Bureau.

And the same goes for invasive pest hitching a ride on out–of–state watercraft.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News tells us about the Gem States front line, when it comes to one specific aquatic pest.

And the check stops behind it all.

"Idaho, Washington... I Believe Oregon, Montana and Wyoming don't have it yet."

By not having it yet, were referring to the Quagga or Zebra Mussel.

First introduced to the United States via the Black Sea to the Great Lakes.

This invasive species of mussel is making its way from state to state... Wrecking havoc along the way.

That's why the state of Idaho has set up check stops at all entry ways to catch the pest before it enters out waterways.

"What we're looking for is any boats coming out of states with infested waters. We'll do an inspection. We speak with the boat owners and try to get an idea, as to... where the craft has been, what waterways it been in, how long it’s been out of the water and make sure its drained, dry and clean."
Said Weed Superintendent Kali Sherrill from the Twin Falls County Noxious Weed Bureau.

If a boat is found to have the Quagga Mussel attached, crews at the check stops will break out the hot wash.

"Basically all a hot wash is… it’s putting hot water on the boat to potentially kill off any invasions species."
Said Daniel Parker, Invasive Species Boat Inspector.

"If the Quagga or Zebra Mussel was to get in the Snake River... it would be detrimental to our agricultural programs that we have."
Said Sherrill.

To give you an idea of how detrimental the Quagga or Zebra Mussel is... This pipe, right here, is only about 6 weeks of build–up.

"Because they can multiply so quickly, there really is nothing right now to control them. For the state of Idaho the best defense we had was the check stations."
Said Sherrill.

Catching the problem at the front door helping to keep Idaho’s waterways Quagga free.

To learn more about the Quagga Mussel log onto WWW.INVASIVESPECIES.IDAHO.GOV


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