Blessed by Our Founders
Summer is finally here! This month, we celebrate our country’s independence. In the midst of apple pies and hot dogs, fireworks and parades, let’s pay tribute to the great American soldiers who made our land free. I am so thankful for my freedom. I hope you all enjoy your Independence Day.
Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels
It is also that time of year to get out on the lake to fish, water ski or enjoy a leisurely boat ride in the sun. If you take your boat out of state, be careful before returning. The invasive quagga and zebra mussels are looking to hitch a ride to our pristine Idaho and Montana waterways.
These invasive mussels wreak havoc wherever they call home. They deplete the nutrients in the water and upset the ecosystem. They also colonize on hulls of boats, recreational equipment, irrigation equipment and hydroelectric power plant equipment. Once they move in, they are pretty much a permanent house guest. How do you go about keeping those pesky creatures from moving in? Clean. Drain. Dry. Clean any visible mud, plants or animals from your boat. Drain all water from the motor, bilge, livewell and other water-containing devices. Dry all areas of your boat and equipment. You should also never dump live fish or organisms from one water body into another.
To protect our waterways, the state has set up a watercraft inspection station program focused on inspecting boats from affected states as they come across the state line. Inspections are free, but the cost of mussels is not. According to the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost to Idaho alone would be $100 million annually if attempts fail to prevent an infestation. This year, inspection stations in Idaho have already intercepted 14 boats carrying the invasive mussels.
I hope you are enjoying your summer in the beautiful Inland Northwest! And remember: Clean. Drain. Dry.