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Idaho Teams Up With Utah To Fight Quagga Mussels

Otto Kitsinger
Associated Press
Idaho Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, shows a three month growth of invasive species the quagga mussel, Jan. 6, 2017 in Boise, Idaho.

Idaho continues to try and keep invasive mussels out of its waterways with a new agreement with Utah.

Idaho has been trying to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of lakes and reservoirs since 2009. The state operates inspection stations along its borders to track down boats that may be contaminated with the invasive species and keep them out of Idaho waters.

But Bear Lake straddles the southeastern boarder of the state with Utah. So the Idaho State Department of Agriculture has teamed up with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Bear Lake Regional Commission to protect the lake. The three entities will work together to fight the mussels.

Since Idaho is free of the mussels, it will close its inspection station in southeastern Idaho and help beef up inspections at two Utah stations in Garden City and Laketown. The Director of the Agriculture Department says that will allow Idaho to use its resources where they can do the most good.

Idaho inspected 90,000 boats in 2016 and found 19 carrying quagga or zebra mussels. The species can clog waterways, crowd out native species and cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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