March 25, 2024

Idaho’s Fight Against Quagga Mussels Receives Additional Funding, Some Angling Access Restored

Article Contact: Marie Neumiller,

Why It Matters: Quagga mussels, initially detected in the Snake River in September 2023, prompted rapid treatment and mitigation efforts that included limiting access to the waterway. Supported by Idaho Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-chairs, Senate Bill 1372 added $6.6 million in funding towards detection, treatment, and eradication of aquatic invasive species. Early detection and treatment are key to ensuring waterways and access are protectedQuagga Mussels are one of the most aggressive invasive species in the United States. Once established their rapid spread can clog the pipes that feed fresh water and agricultural irrigation systems. These highly competitive species can also cause damage to fish and wildlife habitats while out competing native aquatic species. 


  • Copper treatments in the Snake River near Twin Falls Idaho showed early successes, which prompted all but the initial detection zone to be reopened in December of 2023.
  • The legislature provided $6.6 million in funding for detection and treatment of quagga mussels in SB 1372, which was signed into law by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member, Governor Brad Little March 20, 2024.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) is continuing to monitor the river closures through IDFG and IDSA. Sharing the sportsmen’s voice to ensure that access closures are maintained only as long as is needed for removal.

On March 20, 2024, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member, Governor Brad Little signed Senate Bill 1372 giving the Invasive Species Fund an additional $6.6 million in funding to respond to and detect quagga mussels in Idaho bodies of water. During the signing presentation Governor Little pointed out that, “An unchecked spread of quagga mussels has the potential to cost Idaho hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. The Idaho Works bill I signed today increases our manpower and resources to keep invasive species out of our precious water.” Quagga muscles were first detected in the Snake River, near Twin Falls Idaho, in September of 2023 by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (IDSA) prompting copper treatments and temporary access closures.

Immediately after detection of quagga muscles IDSA and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) closed 23 miles of the Snake River to all access including hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, and pets. Early closures included the detection zone and surrounding areas to prevent spread throughout the Snake River. As surveys from the initial treatment showed success, IDSA and IDFG began lifting the access closures in all but the initial detection zone. Sampling in the closed portion of the river will begin again in Spring 2024, hoping to confirm eradication. Quagga mussels stop reproducing when water temperatures drop below 14 degrees Celsius, making detection of any remaining populations less accurate.

Early testing results from the rapid response area are promising and the additional funding will be utilized in the attempt to eradicate this aquatic invasive species, which will hopefully prevent any long-term access closures. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation appreciates the funding granted by the legislature and signed by GSC member, Governor Brad Little. We will continue tracking the situation and will work to ensure that access is limited only during this initial response and removal phase. You can help by remembering to “clean, drain, dry” all boats, fishing gear, and hunting gear before moving from one body of water to another.

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