Update on Snake River Mussels

November 22, 2023 By: Spencer Durrant

Photo: USFWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation/Flickr

Earlier this year, MidCurrent reported on the discovery of quagga mussels in the Snake River, and what that could potentially mean ecologically. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) decided that poisoning the section of the Snake River where these mussels were discovered was the best course of action to ensure that the mussel population didn’t spread further. Unfortunately, this meant that some fish would likely be killed in the process.

This section of the Snake River – near Twin Falls – is a warmwater fishery home to, among other species, perch and sturgeon. The IDFG reported in a recent news release that ten sturgeon have been found dead as a direct result of the treatment. These sturgeon were raised in hatcheries and planted into the river, as most sturgeon in that section of the Snake are. Largescale suckers, common carp, northern pike minnow, and yellow perch are the other species of fish that have been recovered.

You can read more about the ongoing process here.