AIS activities for August

AIS activities for August

Category : Uncategorized

See a brief update on AIS activities for August:

  • Save the Date:  AIS Season Wrap Up Meeting November 29th and 30th,  Montana WILD in Helena. Staff will provide an overview of the 2023 season, discuss plans for 2024 and seek input and guidance from partners. Registration information to follow in the coming weeks.

  • Watercraft Inspection: 
  • Over 86,000 inspections have been conducted so far this season with 43 mussel fouled vessels intercepted (see attached) and over 400 with aquatic weeds.
  • Recent intercepted mussel fouled vessels have included:

  • 8/18/23:  A ski boat that was recently purchased in Minnesota was intercepted with mussels at the Wibaux watercraft inspection station (operated by Garfield Conservation District).  Boat was decontaminated, locked to the trailer and released to it’s final destination in Pend Oreille, Idaho.  Idaho was notified to allow for follow-up.
  • 8/22/23:  The Wibaux station intercepted a wakeboard boat that was recently purchased in Minnesota with mussels in the sea strainer.  Boat was decontaminated, locked to the trailer and destination authorities at Lake Tahoe were notified for follow-up.
  • 9/3/23:  The Broadus inspection station (managed by the Powder River Conservation District) intercepted a recently purchased mussel fouled ski boat from Minnesota heading for Big Sky, Montana. Staff decontaminated the boat, locked it to the trailer and FWP staff followed up with the owner for a full decontamination.
  • The boating season is winding down. The St Xavier and Sula stations are now closed. Other stations will be closing in the coming weeks. Inspection stations on higher risk corridors will remain open into October. More information can be found on the FWP AIS Page.

  • FWP Wardens support compliance at watercraft inspection stations and compliance with AIS regulations.  So far this season wardens have issued 44 citations and 144 AIS related warnings.
  • See the Inspection Station Dashboard for more information on inspection activities at each station.
  • Early Detection:
  • The AIS staff have collected and processed over 1,400 samples so far this season with NO invasive mussels detected in Montana samples.

  • No Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) has been found in Beaver Lake near Whitefish this season following 3 comprehensive surveys.  Another follow-up survey will be conducted in October. Eradication of EWM is the goal for Beaver Lake through persistent survey and removal.
  • Eurasian watermilfoil in Nilan Reservoir (near Augusta) was treated with herbicide by FWP in 2022.  To date, no evidence of EWM has been found in the lake.  Nilan is the only location of EWM on the Rocky Mountain Front and EWM eradication is the objective for that system.
  • A large population of EWM was recently confirmed in Pablo Reservoir. FWP is coordinating with CSKT and US Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a treatment plan.
  • To date, no other new AIS populations have been found in Montana waters this season.
  • Outreach and Education:

  • FWP and the Flathead Lakers Flathead Lakers worked together this summer to visit marinas around Flathead Lake asking for their help to ensure boats are clean and free of AIS before they launch.
  • An AIS education workshop is scheduled for October 17th in Missoula.  Contact Brent Smith to register or for more information (see attached flier)
  • Follow the Protect Our Waters page on Facebook for AIS updates and highlights.
  • In the News:

 Please reach out to the AIS program with questions or for further information.

Thank you

Thomas Woolf

Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau Chief

Fisheries Division

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

P.O. Box 200701

Helena, MT 59620-0701

Ph: (406) 444-1230

About Author

Dave Sedlock

Dave Sedlock

Upper Missouri River Member Walleyes Unlimited Web Master Past Upper Missouri River President - Secretary - Treasure Lives in Helena MT

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