Skip to main content

Invasive species inspections in Bruneau

Bruneau--Idaho waterways are ground zero for the fight against invasive species like Quagga and Zebra Mussels.

And at the landlocked intersection of highway 51 and 78, outside of Bruneau, they’re stopping all boats.

"Before that where were you," said Owyhee County Deputy Long.

These Inspection stations are set up across Idaho to check boats and other watercraft and are Idaho’s first line of defense against the introduction and spread of invasive species. Rayola Jacobsen of the Bruneau River and Soil Conservation District.

"The problem is that zebra and quagga mussel, the zebra mussels are bigger, the quagga mussels are smaller but they are cousins and are both very invasive. These boat check stations are all around the state of Idaho, set up on incoming major roads. It is the out-of-state boats that we find our fouled with the quagga and zebra mussels, we find them both," said Jacobsen.

Over the past decade, the stations have inspected 600,000 boats. Even though they have found 245 mussel-fouled boats, inspectors have never seen any indication that they’re in Idaho waters, Yet.

"You have to stop," said Deputy Long. "You have to let us look at your boat we are going to check it and make sure there are no weeds and no invasive species. They are so invasive that if they ever get into our water bodies it would cost us a fortune to get them out." But overwhelmingly motorists stop, and don’t seem to care:

"All it takes is just a few minutes, It's not a big deal," said Douglas Salazar from Seattle."

For the Voice of Idaho Ag, I'm Jake Putnam