Idaho State Department of Agriculture encourages river visitors to hot wash watercraft

The work they’re doing to stop the spread of the Quagga continues.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 1:06 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Several days after the Idaho State Department of Agriculture found Quagga Mussel larvae in the Snake River, they’ve been busy.

The department put into place an intensive action plan. First, they cut off access to the water and stopped all recreational access to other traffic on the river, the department of agriculture will continue to test and offer resources to the public.

What happens in the next few days and weeks will determine how bad the possible infestation is and what exact steps they need to take.

The department started by taking new samples from different sections of the river, those are expected back soon but the work they’re doing to stop the spread of the Quagga continues.

Idaho State Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Lloyd Knight says, “Doing delimiting surveys ups and down the river from Centennial Park to identify and better pinpoint whatever infestation we have going on in the river we’re also working to contain access to the river. Contain movement of water from the river so we don’t move any of those species around so that goes to the ramp closure in place and the decontamination stations that we have available.”

Those decontamination stations pressure wash the watercraft at 140 degrees.

First, they inspect the item or watercraft, then pressure wash using different attachments, it’s a spray and soak type method because Quagga Mussels are sensitive to pressure and heat. If you’ve been in the water in the past thirty days, the department is requesting that you take advantage of the hot wash.

“We really recommend if folks were in this stretch of the river in the past 30 days inflatable kayaks floatable kayaks stand up paddle boards motorized boats, we really encourage them and really hope that they will come get those hot washed either at this station at the Twin Falls Visitors Center or we expect to have one up at the county weed department later to, says Knight.”

When the samples return, the department will be updating their response plan.