More waterway closures in southern Idaho: ISDA requests community help to stop the spread of Quagga Mussels

On Wednesday, in the same line of caution, Twin Falls County temporarily closed access to Murtaugh Lake.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 2:52 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — With the discovery of Quagga Mussel larvae in the waters of Centennial Park, more waterways are being closed around the region and officials are also asking the public’s help to contain the invasive species.

On Tuesday, both Twin Falls and Jerome Counties began closing bodies of water to help prevent the spread of the Quagga Mussel larvae discovered on Monday.

Centennial Park was the first to close, but Jerome County quickly made the decision to close access to Wilson Lake, due to the lake’s proximity to the Snake River.

On Wednesday, in the same line of caution, Twin Falls County temporarily closed access to watercraft at Murtaugh Lake.

The City of Twin Falls has also closed Shoshone Falls Park Boat Ramp and Dierkes Lake Park to all watercrafts including kayaks, paddle boards, canoes and inflatable craft to help contain the spread of invasive Quagga Mussels.

Canal companies in Cassia County are also announcing closures. according to the Cassia County Sheriffs Office social media account, due to the recent findings of the Quagga Mussel at Centennial Park, parts of the Snake River have been shut down.

As a precaution, Oakley Canal Company has decided to close down the Oakley Reservoir to boating of all kinds.

Beyond the closures, local and state officials are asking the community to notify them if your watercraft has been in the water near Centennial Park over the last 30 days.

“If you, or anyone you know, has had a watercraft; that includes wakeboards, that includes paddle boards, that includes kayaks. If you have had a conveyance on the water in the last 30 days, please get in contact with the ISDA for a hot wash, those are free of charge, very easy to facilitate also very important,” said Chanel Tewalt, Director of the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

If your watercraft has been in the water at Centennial over the last 30 days, contact the Idaho Department of Agriculture at 1(208)332-8620.

Officials ask that the community remain patient with the process.

This is the first time in Idaho state history a reaction plan of this magnitude has been instituted. Making the coming days and weeks crucial in controlling a potentially catastrophic environmentally driven disaster.

The State of Idaho has set up a direct link on their website with up-to-date information.

For a quick link to that site, Click Here.

Statement from Twin Falls County on the closure of Murtaugh Lake:

“Effective immediately, access to the boat ramp and docks at Murtaugh Lake will be closed. The Twin Falls County Commissioners and Twin Falls Canal Company have made this decision following the discovery of quagga mussel larvae in the Snake River. Access to this area will be closed for the next 30 days, and will be revisited at that time. All parks, picnic and camping areas remain open to the public and will not be affected.”