Mussels program draws mixed reviews in first year - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mussels program draws mixed reviews in first year

Quagga and zebra mussels can clog agricultural irrigation pipes, impact power generation, encrust native species and disrupt the food web Quagga and zebra mussels can clog agricultural irrigation pipes, impact power generation, encrust native species and disrupt the food web
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    Thursday, July 16 2009 3:14 PM EDT2009-07-16 19:14:21 GMT
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    Boat inspections begin in Idaho

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    WEISER, Idaho. - Eight of 18 planned boat inspection sites in Idaho are up and running in an attempt to prevent the invasive quagga and zebra mussels from entering the state.>>
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho. - State recreation officials say they have raised more than $776,000 so far this year on a program to help keep a pair of invasive mussels out of Idaho waters.

The 2009 Legislature passed a bill requiring all boaters to buy a sticker to help subsidize an inspection program and other efforts to prevent against the introduction of quagga and zebra mussels.

The stickers cost between $5 and $20 depending on boat size and residency.

So far, officials say nearly 107,000 stickers have been sold or shipped to vendors. Figures also show the state inspected an estimated 12,000 boats between July and Labor Day.

The Times News reports that some boaters consider the stickers another form of government intrusion. Others say the state should make the stickers more available and easier to buy.

If introduced in Idaho, it has been estimated that the fouling mussels could cost taxpayers $100 million annually. Mussels can rapidly colonize a water body and live for several days out of the water. They clog pipes, foul infrastructure and damage recreational equipment.

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