Clark Fork Coalition features presentation
Montana Living — The Clark Fork Coalition will have a presentation about the threat of invasive mussels and other aquatic invasive species March 8.
Caryn Miske, Executive Director of the Flathead Basin Commission will share her extensive knowledge of AIS and what can be done to stop their spread to the Clark Fork watershed. The presentation is from 5:15pm to 6:15pm at the Clark Fork Coalition office, 140 S 4th St. West, Missoula.
Invasive mussels likely arrived in the U.S. as tiny passengers in the ballast water of ocean-going barges from Eastern Europe. They first appeared in the Great Lakes in the 1980s and have spread to at least 30 states by hitching rides on watercraft. Invasive mussels strip the food web of plankton, promote nuisance algae growth, harm native fish populations, ruin beaches, and damage infrastructure, including drinking water pipes, irrigation infrastructure, and recreation facilities. Once established, they’re impossible to eradicate.
The first discovery of mussel larvae in Montana occurred in November 2016 in the Tiber Reservoir, along with “suspect” detections in Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Both of these reservoirs drain to the east part of the state. Still, the discovery has dramatically upped the ante in the battle to keep mussels out of the Clark Fork watershed, which forms the eastern headwaters of the Columbia River basin.
“As we’ve seen in other states, mussels and other invasive aquatic species have the potential to wreak havoc once they’re established—both ecologically and economically,” Karen Knudsen, executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, said. “So it’s critically important to block any outbreaks on the east side of the state and stop them from entering the Clark Fork watershed. In the case of AIS, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.”
This spring, Montana’s lawmakers are evaluating a series of recommendations for preventing, detecting, and containing mussels and other AIS. Come learn what these new threats mean for the Clark Fork watershed, and what we can do to stop a mussel invasion in western Montana.
The March 8th event is part of the Coalition’s “Water Walks and Talks” learning series, which keeps citizens informed about hot topics and recent developments in the Clark Fork River watershed. For more information on the Walks & Talks series, and the Clark Fork Coalition, please visitwww.clarkfork.org.