Public radio podcast examines threat of invasive mussels in Montana

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A new podcast from Montana Public Radio examines what could happen if Montana fails to stop zebra and quagga mussels from entering state water bodies.

The podcast “SubSurface: Resisting Montana’s Underwater Invaders” examines the potentially devastating impacts for Montana’s fisheries, outdoor enthusiasts and industries if the aquatic invasive species spread in Montana’s waters.

Water samples from the Tiber Reservoir in north-central Montana last fall found a juvenile mussel and previously a suspect sample was taken from Canyon Ferry Reservoir near Townsend.

In “SubSurface,” MTPR’s Nicky Ouellet examines how invasive mussels changed the Great Lakes region and what those implications could mean for Montana’s future, as well as what the state already is doing to detect and prevent their spread.

The five-episode series launches Monday, Nov. 20, and will be available on iTunes and online at http://mtpr.org/.

“There’s been a lot of reporting about Montana’s efforts to fend off mussels, but not much about what the long-term consequences look like if we fail,” said Eric Whitney, MTPR news director. “And looking at other states’ experiences helps us evaluate whether Montana is doing enough and focusing its time and money in the right places.”

For the podcast, Ouellet traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin, which decades ago faced challenges with the same invasive species, to investigate what Montana’s waterways could look like if the state fails to fend off the mussels.

Listeners will hear from biologists and anglers, crews at water treatment plants and hydroelectric dams, and residents young and old about what it means to live in an invaded landscape.

For more information call Whitney at 406-243-4075 or email eric.whitney@mso.umt.edu.

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