Boat inspections ramp up as lakes finally thaw


Asa Thomas Metcalfe

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks inspector, Don Oliver, looks over a fishing pontoon at the Clearwater Jct watercraft inspection site.

Every summer, the lakes of Montana are crowded with watercraft from all over the United States and Canada, and with each of those watercraft comes a potential for dangerous contaminants.

The most dangerous of those alien contaminants are invasive species of mussels that can lodge themselves into the smallest crevices of boats, anchors, and submerged equipment and be moved from one body of water to another without being noticed but even one mussel can explode into a population large enough to destroy a lake's ecosystem.

"It's borderline impossible to get them out of the lake without complet...

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