Quarantine Aims to Halt Spread of Invasive Water Weed


HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Department of Agriculture will hold meetings in Glasgow and Helena early next month to provide details of a temporary quarantine in the Missouri River drainage to halt or slow the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil, an invasive aquatic weed.


New infestations of the weed, which displaces native vegetation and hampers recreation, were discovered last year between Three Forks and Canyon Ferry Reservoir and in the vicinity of Fort Peck Reservoir. The "temporary, light quarantine" allows mandatory inspection of boats and other measures to educate boaters who might inadvertently move the vegetation from one spot to another.


"Eurasian watermilfoil has infested major recreation sites in Idaho and other western states.  We want to take aggressive action to slow its spread in Montana," said Dave Burch, Montana weed program manager.


The informational meetings will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 3 in the Montana Department of Agriculture conference room at 302 North Roberts, Helena, and at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 at Glasgow's Cottonwood Inn.


Eurasian watermilfoil was first detected in Montana in 2007 in Noxon and Cabinet Gorge reservoirs near the border with northern Idaho. Last summer, the weed was found in the Missouri River between Three Forks and Townsend, and in Fort Peck Reservoir and the Dredge Cuts area below Fort Peck Dam. The weed is typically transported by water craft and boat trailers.


For more information, contact Dave Burch at (406) 444-9430 or by e-mail at


Published: July 21, 2011 2:27:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: September 15, 2011 11:27:57 AM MDT