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What has the Beaverhead Conservation District been up to?

By Jessica Fields, District Administrator

Zebra Mussels in Beaverhead County
The Beaverhead Conservation district is running the Watercraft Inspection Station at mile marker 33 on I15 North. Over the last month, the inspectors have intercepted two boats infected with zebra mussels. These boats were washed with hot water to kill the mussels. Along with the mussel fouled boats the team intercepted one boat with corbicula and discovered one Asian clam shell. If you are traveling with a boat this summer expect to stop at the station or other stations across the state and figure at least twenty minutes extra into your trip. Montana law says that if you are traveling with a boat past a station you must stop, or you can expect local law enforcement to find you and fine you. Beaverhead County does not have a population of zebra or quagga mussels and our team is trying very hard to keep it that way.

310 Permits
If you have a headgate that needs to be replaced or any project on a perennial stream you will need a 310 permit. (Perennial stream: any stream that flows almost year-round during a year of normal rainfall.) A 310 permit can take as long as 60 days to issue, remember to plan ahead. 310 joint applications can be found at or you can come to the BCD office, 420 Barrett St, on Tuesdays or Thursdays and pick up a paper application.

Irrigation Maintenance
If you need to clean out your irrigation ditch or headgate every year, a maintenance agreement is the permit for you. Unlike 310 permits which expire after a year, maintenance agreements are good for five years as long as you are doing the same work each year. Your agreement is good for five years but you will need to call FWP to get a 318 permit each year before work begins and call BCD to let them know when you are doing the work.

If you need to take emergency action to protect your livelihood, call the BCD at (406) 683-3802 and fill out an emergency permit and 310 joint application within 15 days of taking action.

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