Authorities have called in on sniffing dogs to garner additional help in the fight against invasive species in Montana.
This is the first time invasive aquatic mussels have been found in Montana waters because of which authorities in the province of Alberta have send their mussel-sniffing dogs to the area. The work to local all these invasive mussels is being carried out by FWP in collaboration with state and federal agencies and the Montana Invasive Species Advisory Council (MISAC).
The sniffing dogs have proven effective in Canada and other states in identifying adult mussels attached to boats and other watercraft. At the reservoirs, the dogs will inspect boat docks, launches and shorelines.
While the authorities have detected larvae of quagga or zebra mussels they are yet to detect large population of adult mussels and that’s what the sniffing dogs will help out with. Authorities in Montana reveal that they never expected these mussels to show up in Montana waters, but they were prepared for it nonetheless and now as the time has come to act, they will take all the necessary steps to get rid of them.
Officials have already carried out inspections at Tiber and Canyon Ferry, but they didn’t find any established populations of adult mussels. However, they are not going to stop at this and more extensive searches will be carried out with the assistance of stakeholders such as dam operators, marina concessionaires and other groups.
Previous studies of water samples from Fresno, Holter, Hauser reservoirs and Lake Frances, the Marias River, and the Milk River have always come out as negative. Currently authorities are conducting tests at Fort Peck Reservoir and the entire Missouri River system.
Authorities say that while the detection of the larvae in Montana waters is bad news, it is a step in the right direction considering that the experiments have proved that their tests work and that they will be able to detect at other places and contain population of mussels before the situation gets out of hand.