Flathead organizations host community walk about invasive mussels

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Organizations in the Flathead are starting a big push to prevent invasive mussels from taking over Flathead Lake.

A community mussel “walk and talk” took place at the Wayfarers unit of Flathead Lake State Park Saturday. Earlier this week the same event took place, but with school children.

The Flathead Lakers, Montana State Parks, Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Natural Resources department, the Flathead Lake Biological Station, and the Boys and Girls Clubs from Polson and Ronan all came together to put on these two walks.

Biologists taught community members how to properly drain, clean and inspect their boats and how to identify invasive mussel species.

Flathead Lakers education and outreach coordinator Hilary Devlin said that in other lake communities, the community members were the ones who found the invasive mussels. This is why she feels it is so important for everyone to educate themselves on invasive mussel species.

"We have a strong community around Flathead Lake and I believe we can keep them out, but it’s up to us to spread the message not the mussel, and learning and teaching our summer visitors how important it is that we keep this place clean," said Devlin.

The organizers plan to hold another event in June.

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