(Idaho Fish & Game Press Release, September 29, 2023)
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission met via conference call on Friday morning, Sept. 29 and voted to close fishing, hunting and trapping below the high-water mark of the Snake River around Twin Falls where quagga mussel larvae were detected. The closure will span approximately 23 miles of the Snake River, from the waterfall known as Twin Falls to the Highway 46 bridge, also known as Ken Curtis Bridge.
The Fish and Game Commission’s action is a companion reinforcement action supporting the overall closure put in place by the Idaho Department of Agriculture.
The Idaho Department of Agriculture is the lead agency for aquatic invasive species, and as such, is the primary point of contact for all public information about quagga mussels on their website.
Quagga mussels are one of the most aggressive invasive species infesting the United States. These mussels spread easily to new areas through the movement of watercraft or any other gear (e.g., decoys, fishing fear, waders, boots, etc.) that comes in contact with water that contains microscopic quagga mussel larvae.
But it isn’t just boats and kayaks that assist in spreading the quagga larvae — dogs, too, can also spread the larvae.
“We’re seeing a lot of dogs in these waters, whether folks are taking them for a riverside stroll or training their dogs for waterfowl hunting,” said Terry Thompson, Magic Valley Regional Communications Manager.
Idaho Department of Agriculture’s direction states that a dog must be quarantined for 30 days if they’ve been in contaminated waters; the same goes for other equipment that has been submerged in the water, including boats, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, oars, waders, boots, lifejackets, fishing gear, buckets, nets, decoys and more.
In addition, the Fish and Game Commission also granted additional authority to Fish and Game Director Jim Fredericks to adjust Fish and Game-related closures in conjunction with any Idaho Department of Agriculture closure area modifications.
To learn more about quagga mussels in Idaho, check out this recent press release.