Regulations aimed helping the fight against aquatic invasive species in Montana go into effect April 15.
These new regulations require that all watercraft coming into Montana be inspected prior to launching on any Montana waterbody, mandatory inspections of watercraft traveling across the Continental Divide into the Columbia River Basin within Montana, and a prohibition of transporting surface water – lake, pond and river water – in Montana.
The regulations take the form of administrative rules and were presented for public comment in February and March. These rules amended existing regulations and were necessary in developing a response to the discovery of invasive mussel larvae in Montana last fall.
Invasive mussel larvae were detected for the first time in Montana in October 2016 in Tiber Reservoir – and a suspect detection turned up in Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
The discovery triggered a natural resource emergency in Montana and led to several recommended strategies to manage the threat of invasive mussels spreading to other areas.
For more information on Montana’s mussel response, please look online at musselresponse.mt.gov.