The Idaho Conservation League has some tips for fighting the threat of aquatic invaders, primarily zebra mussels, quagga mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.
Aquatic hitchhikers are making their way to Idaho, threatening the sparkling lakes and rivers where we take our families to fish, swim and paddle. To keep our lakes and rivers healthy and to enjoy them by boat, in swimsuits or in waders, we must be ever vigilant of the dangers of aquatic invasive species, such as quagga and zebra mussels.
Prevention is the first order of business. Once aquatic invaders take root in Idaho, they degrade aquatic habitat for native species, and they can cost millions – if not billions – to control. Control methods often pose risks to our aquatic ecology, too.
Here are a few things we can all do to help:
Inspect all surfaces of your boat and trailer before launching into Idaho waters. Small mussels may be hard to see, but they feel like sandpaper, and even small dry fragments of aquatic weeds can infest a lake or river.
Remove all plant and animal material from your boat and trailer, including anchor and chain, propeller, livewell and bilge, and all other exposed areas.
Wash your boat with a high-pressure hot-water pressure system. Alternately, wash with a bleach or salt solution (well away from surface water!).
Thoroughly dry all gear and watercraft, ideally for at least five days, before launching.
Report any new infestations of nonnative weeds to allow for early intervention.
Learn more about quagga and zebra mussels, and the aquatic weeds that are already degrading our waterways.For more information or to purchase an Idaho Invasive Species Sticker, please contact us or come in.