With the proliferation of adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell, on the border of Utah and Arizona, watercraft from this lake that are entering Montana will be subject to additional measures at watercraft inspection stations to ensure they are free from aquatic invasive species.
Lake Powell is on the Colorado River and invasive mussels are found throughout the lake. Adult quagga mussels are now commonly found on watercraft exiting the lake, even on day-use boats. Adult mussels are also now being found in ballast tanks of wakeboard boats for the first time. This is a new development and causes significant challenges due to difficulties inspecting and decontaminating ballast tanks.
In response to this new issue, boats with ballast tanks entering Montana from Lake Powell will be subjected to additional dry time to ensure they are not transporting live mussels. Any boat with ballast tanks that has visited Lake Powell in the previous 30 days will be thoroughly inspected, the ballast system will be flushed, and a dry time will be required to ensure no live mussels remain on the boat. Boats with ballast tanks will be locked to the trailer to ensure it does not launch until the required dry time is met. Dry time will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and can range from seven to 30 days.
All watercraft entering Montana are required to be inspected for invasive species, including a thorough inspection of live wells, anchors and ballast systems. Boaters are asked to do their part to help protect Montana’s waters and always clean, drain and dry their boats and equipment.