Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species (AIS) that has spread rapidly across the US since the 1980s.
Known for their detrimental effects on native fish and plant populations, as well as the significant economic costs associated with their rapid reproduction, waste products, and the changes they cause in lakes and streams
Spread to new lakes by hitchhiking on boats, trailers, and water gear that has been used in an infected lake
First detected in Montana in 2016
Have NOT YET been detected in Flathead Lake, but more effort and education is needed to keep it this way
Why Should I Be Concerned?
Zebra mussels cause significant economic and environmental damage to water bodies as soon as they become established.
They significantly alter the local foodweb and choke out native fish and plant populations.
They pollute water use infrastructure by damaging irrigation and water intake pipes.
Their shells and waste products pollute shorelines and lake bottoms, affecting recreational boating and beach use.
Their presence could negatively impact property values and decrease revenue generated by tourism.