Mussel-infested boats stopped in N. Idaho

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho officials say opening a mandatory boat inspection station on Interstate 90 near Wallace six weeks early stopped two boats carrying invasive mussels from the Great Lakes.

Idaho Department of Agriculture officials tell The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/z70RQw) that about 20 boats have been inspected since the Feb. 3 opening of the station.

Spokesman Matt Voile says both boats were being transported by commercial haulers to waters on the Washington coast.

He says the boats were taken to decontamination centers in Washington.

Idaho has been working to prevent the non-native zebra and quagga mussels from entering the state. The mussels have many western states taking preventative steps because they multiply quickly and can destroy food chains, threaten waterways and harm fisheries.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com