Winnebago Waterways Program Interviewed for Subsurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders Program
Winnebago Waterways Coordinator Korin and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator Chris were interviewed as part of a Montana Public Radio program concerning zebra mussels. This podcast, Subsurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders Program, is an effort to spread awareness and education about zebra mussels in Montana.
Zebra mussels veligers (microscopic babies) were found in Fall 2016 in Tiber Reservoir, Montana. In order to help raise awareness of the zebra mussel situation and how citizens in Montana may be impacted by a large scale zebra mussel invasion, Montana Pubic Radio sent Nicky Ouellet to record stories and interviews with people living around the Great Lakes. The interviewed folks were those who have been living with zebra mussels and gave a glimpse into the possible future of zebra mussel infested Montana lakes. The podcast is really interesting and offers a unique way to a mussels and how they impact everyday lives. Nicky interviews educators, scientists, lake property owners, power plant workers, scuba divers, and many more! While the interview with Chris and Korin had to be cut due to time constraints, it still puts an interesting perspective on the zebra mussel situation across the United States. You can hear the podcast by CLICKING HERE!
Zebra Mussels in Montana
In Fall 2016, a water sample from Tiber Reservoir in Montana was found to have zebra mussel veligers while Canyon Ferry Reservoir in Montana had a suspect test sample. In an effort to halt the spread, Montana Governor Steve Bullock declared a natural resources emergency. This created a rapid response team to inspect water samples from waterbodies across the state. In addition, boat check stations and decontamination stations were placed across the state on major highways as well as roads that lead to and from lakes and reservoirs with zebra mussels. All vehicles that have watercraft (including canoes, boats, rafts, paddle boards, kayaks, and tubes) are required to stop when they pass an inspection station. The program is incentivized to encourage stopping at inspection stations. Anyone who goes through an inspection station receives a raffle ticket for a drawing for a variety of outdoor recreation prizes. Montana also has an aquatic invasive species program that highlights the steps to stop the spread of invasive species: Clean, Drain, Dry. All boaters have to clean their watercraft after use, drain all bilges and live wells and make sure all water that may be in the watercraft is dry. This program took a new importance following the zebra mussel infested water samples. Check out this Story Map that highlights the zebra mussel story in Montana.
Follow the Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance’s Winnebago Waterways Program on our Winnebago Waterways Facebook page or @WinnWaterways on Twitter! You can also sign-up for email updates at WinnebagoWaterways.org.
Winnebago Waterways is a Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance program. The Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is an independent nonprofit organization that identifies and advocates effective policies and actions that protect, restore, and sustain water resources in the Fox-Wolf River Basin.
This article was written by Chris Acy, the AIS Coordinator for the Winnebago Waterways Program covering Calumet, Winnebago, and Fond du Lac counties.