Two Mussel-Infested Boats Found at N. Idaho Check Station - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Two Mussel-Infested Boats Found at N. Idaho Check Station

WALLACE, Idaho - Last week local officials at a boat check station near Wallace found two boats infested with mussels. The Department of Agriculture is still trying to determine what type of mussels were found on the boats, most importantly Zebra or Quagga.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture says they have found mussels attached to seven boats statewide so far this year. Three of those have been in north Idaho.

Pamm Juker with the Department of Agriculture says if Idaho's waters become infested with invasive species like Zebra and Quagga Mussels it can be extremely devastating to the native wildlife and affect recreationalists. Mussels range in size from microscopic to the size of a fingernail. They attach themselves to hard and soft surfaces, polluting freshwater ecosystems, jamming rudders on boats, and cause major maintenance challenges for the state's water systems.

"It's been estimated that it could cost Idaho up to 90 million dollars a year if we did become infested with Quagga or Zebra Mussel," said Pamm Juker, Idaho Dept. of Agriculture.

Juker says it's hard to know how bad a problem they expect to have this year finding mussels on boats as they come into the state, but all boats are required to check in at boat check stations so they can make sure the state's waters don't become infested.

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