GREAT FALLS – Tiber Marina is just one of five locations where you can launch your boat at Tiber Reservoir.
“We have to figure out a way to get the business coming back down here and be able to work with the fish and game and to make sure everything stays safe,” Shawn Norick said.
Norick is a concessionaire for Tiber Marina and can vouch that business has been slow ever since the reservoir tested positive for an invasive species: mussels.
FWP is stepping up, along with the Bureau of Reclamation, to relocate an AIS watercraft inspection station at the marina.
“The mussel issue is a big issue. It’s not just a Montana issue, it’s a west wide issue, where there’s concern that we do have mussels in the water out there and boats can transport those to different locations,” FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau Chief Thomas Woolf said.
In addition to relocating the inspection station, they hope to eventually have campsites for housing the staff.
“The main priority is the boats are clean coming out of Tiber, but we’re also dedicated to public access as well,” Woolf said.
FWP said the best thing a boater can do is to always make sure their boats are cleaned, drained, and dry.
“Choosing the right location for inspection really ensures the safety for Montana waters. We’re just unfortunate enough that we got to be the spot that tested positive,” Norick said.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News
More information about the efforts to prevent invasive water species can be found on the FWP website including the following information:
- Completely remove all mud, water, and vegetation before leaving the access area.
- Inspect your boat, trailer, and all gear. Pay attention to crevices and hidden areas.
- Remove all vegetation (by hand or sprayer).
- Remove all mud (use a pressurized power sprayer, found at most do-it-yourself car washes). The hot water
- kills organisms and the pressure removes mud and vegetation. No need to use chemicals or soap.
- Dispose of debris in trash or on dry land away from water or ramp.
- Drain all water from watercraft and equipment.
- Drain or remove water from boat, bilge, live well, engine, internal compartments, and bait buckets by removing drain plugs before leaving the access area.
- Aquatic invaders can survive only in water and wet areas
- Dry your watercraft and fishing equipment thoroughly; this will kill most invasive species.
- The longer you keep your watercraft, trailer, waders, and other equipment outside in the hot sun between fishing trips, the better.