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Montana FWP Considers Lifting Quarantine On Canyon Ferry

A scubadiver holds a rock covered in quagga mussels on Lake Michigan in 2017.
Nicky Ouellet
Yellowstone Public Radio
A scubadiver holds quagga mussels scooped from the bottom of Lake Michigan in September 2017.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has started the process to lift quarantine restrictions on Canyon Ferry Reservoir following a third year of no detections of invasive mussels.

FWP anticipates the rule change, which requires public review, could take effect next spring.

Canyon Ferry has been under quarantine since a suspected detection of invasive zebra or quagga mussels in 2016. If the quarantine is lifted, the lake’s certified boater program would end and boat inspections would be handled by a mobile roving crew.

The quarantine of Tiber Reservoir, which had multiple positive mussel detections in 2016, will remain in place for another two years in line with regional policy.

FWP says monitoring crews surveyed 300 waterbodies for invasive plants and animals this year. No mussels were found. The department says it inspected a record 112,000 watercraft and intercepted 16 boats carrying invasive mussels into the state.