It’s Invasive Species Awareness Week! The Snake River Fund wants our community to be aware of the threat of aquatic invasive species on our watershed.
Aquatic invasive species are organisms that are not native and cause significant harm to an ecosystem when introduced. Harmful impacts can occur to municipal water supplies, recreation, agriculture, aquaculture, and other commercial activities.
Aquatic invasive species including amphibians, crustaceans, fish, plants, and mollusks are currently present in Wyoming, most notably the New Zealand mudsnail and Asian clam, which are present in Wyoming in Yellowstone National Park, and in the Bighorn, Shoshone and Snake rivers. They were also found in Fish Creek last year. These species cause problems and need to be controlled. New Zealand mud snails can also live outside of water for up to 24 hours or on a damp surface for 50 days. This means they can survive between boat or fishing trips by hiding in a crevice in your boat or a fold in your waders.
The other most significant known threat to Wyoming is from zebra and quagga mussels based on their proximity and demonstrated impacts in neighboring states. The Zebra/Quagga Mussel are widespread throughout the United States, most notably in neighboring Colorado and Utah. Invasive zebra and quagga mussels have not been found in Wyoming and we want to keep it that way. They are transported in water on boats as microscopic larvae or attached to the hull, motor, or other hard surface of a boat.
The best prevention to stop the threat is to DRAIN, CLEAN, DRY!
1. DRAIN all water from your boat including the motor, bilge, live well, and ballast areas.
2. CLEAN all mud, plants and debris from your boat. The plants can be invasive and mud and plants can also harbor other Aquatic Invasive Species.
3. DRY your boat well before using it in another water. We recommend drying it for at least 5 days in the hot summer, 18 days in the spring or fall, or 3 days in the winter when temperatures are freezing.