Invasive mussels found on boat in east Idaho; officials remind public to drain, clean, dry

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Last weekend, invasive mussels were found on a boat during an inspection in Fremont County, Idaho. The mussels were discovered during a watercraft inspection on Highway 20 last Friday. According to Thomas Woolf, the Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, the boat was coming from the Muskegon River in Michigan and heading for the Henry's Fork. The mussels were dry and dead. "Many invasive species including the Zebra Mussels and the Quagga Mussels didn't evolve in Jackson Hole or Snake River watershed, they evolved elsewhere," said Len Carlman, executive director of the Snake River Fund. "They don't have natural predators in our ecosystem, so if they get established, they can overrun the place and eat food sources that otherwise would be consumed by native species." [image: Inline image 1] *Aquatic Invasive mussels found on a shoe.* *Photo courtesy of Snake River Fund.* "These aquatic invasive species are so disruptive that they can destroy the healthy function of an aquatic ecosystem. It means that the economy built around a healthy aquatic ecosystem also get destroyed -- jobs and livelihood for many people, for others it's their passion and reason for visiting or living in Jackson Hole," Carlman added. Carlman said that it is very important that people drain, clean and dry their water gear when taking to it from one location to the next. "It only takes one invasion, one live transfer event, to potentially change the game from prevention to mitigation. Prevention is really important and it is working right now. Mitigation is expensive and tends not to work," he said. "It is not enough to have check stations on highways, it [drain, clean, dry] has to be part of the culture." To help prevent aquatic invasive species in Jackson Hole, Snake River Fund partners with Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Teton County Weed and Pest, Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited, and 1% for the Tetons. *Feature Photo: Drift Boat. Photo courtesy of Snake River Fund.* #buckrail #news