In response to the recent detection of invasive larval quagga mussels in the Snake River at the Centennial Water Park in Twin Falls, Idaho Fish and Game is temporarily closing water access to the public on lands owned and managed by Fish and Game along the Snake River effective Sept. 21. The closure extends from Shoshone Falls downstream to the Highway 46 bridge across the Snake River north of Buhl. Nine Fish and Game properties are impacted by the closure, some of which are closed in cooperation with adjacent public managers.
Area closures are intended to allow Idaho State Department of Agriculture to evaluate the extent of quagga mussels in the Snake River and prevent further spread. This invasive species can quickly spread and clog pipes that deliver water for drinking, energy, agriculture, recreation, and a variety of other uses. They also could negatively affect fish populations and wildlife habitat.
The closure specifically restricts access to ponds on each of the properties as well as access to the Snake River. The intent is to limit potential spread of quagga mussels beyond the area where they have been detected in Twin Falls.
The affected properties within the Magic Valley Region include: Auger Falls Park, Yingst Grade, Scott’s Pond, Pugmire Park, Magic Valley Fish Hatchery, Cedar Draw Sportsmen’s Access, Bordewick Sportsmen’s Access, Niagara Springs Fish Hatchery and Niagara Springs Wildlife Management Area.
The closure does not restrict access to land-based activities on these Fish and Game lands.
“The closure will have an immediate impact on hunters and anglers who typically access the Snake River on Department-owned properties to hunt waterfowl or who fish the river” according to John Guthrie, Manager of the Niagara Springs Wildlife Management Area. “Hunters and anglers will need to use other areas to hunt or fish until the closure is lifted so that the Idaho Department of Agriculture can continue to safely assess the extent of quagga mussels in the Snake River.”
The weekend of Sept. 23-24 is the youth/veterans and active-duty military waterfowl hunting opportunity. Those participating in the waterfowl hunt along this portion of the Snake River need to find areas away from the closure.
For more information about the closure please contact the Magic Valley Region at (208) 324-4359.
For more information about the quagga mussel detection in the Snake River check the Idaho Department of Agriculture website. People can also sign up with ISDA for email notifications about the latest information regarding Snake River closures.