Exotic mussel found on boat

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 An exotic quagga mussel adult was found on a sailboat hull during an inspection Saturday at the Dayton Yacht harbor on Flathead Lake.

John Wachsmuth, Fish Wildlife and Parks Regional Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator, and volunteer Erik Hanson, a certified mussel inspector, found the single, 1/4-inch long adult quagga mussel attached to the stern of the hull.

The mussel appeared to be intact and alive, according to a news release from Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The sailboat owner had hauled the boat from Lake Mead. It had been decontaminated at Lake Mead and inspected by the Idaho Department of Transportation.

Montana officials were notified by Columbia River Basin Network inspectors on Friday that the decontamination procedure might not have been adequate. 

Wachsmuth arranged for a local inspection and coordinated decontamination efforts. The boat is in dry dock and will not be launched for at least two months.

Wachsmuth urges boaters hauling boats of any kind into Montana to be sure the boats have been decontaminated and inspected by a state agency involved in Aquatic Invasive Species prevention. 

He added that boat owners should make sure that the hull and bilge area are clean and dry and that the boat is inspected before the boat is transported. Boaters who are hauling boats from known infested waters such as Lake Mead should contact Fish, Wildlife and Parks at 444-2449 and arrangements with a local inspector will be made.

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