The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has confirmed the presence of quagga mussel larvae in the Centennial Waterfront Park area of the Snake River. These findings mark the first time a rapid response plan has been put into action to eliminate quagga mussels discovered in Idaho waters.
The introduction of quagga mussels poses a major threat to Idaho. This invasive species can quickly spread and clog pipes that deliver water for drinking, energy, agriculture, recreation, and a variety of other uses. These mussels can negatively affect fish populations and wildlife habitat. The mussels are highly competitive, persistent, and can create monocultures that will eliminate Idaho’s diverse biological landscape.
“If we are not successful, an unchecked spread – which we are doing all we can to stop – has the potential to cost Idaho hundreds of millions of dollars in actual and indirect costs. It could prompt increases in your taxes and bills,” ISDA officials said.
Gov. Brad Little and the ISDA are overseeing a swift response to the problem in coordination with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Twin Falls County Commissioners, the mayor of Twin Falls and more. In the meantime, the Middle Snake River has been closed to public use. It’s imperative that the public stay away from the river while further water testing is done, and treatment plans are developed, officials said.
For more information about the quagga mussel issue, go here: https://agri.idaho.gov/main/plants/snake-river-quagga-mussel-veligers/