The state of Idaho now officially recognizes National Invasive Species Awareness Week. In 2023, Feb. 20 to 26 is the week set apart to educate the public on the impact of invasive species.

“As we continue our efforts across the state, we look to the public remaining as our best line of defense to invasive species,” said Nic Zurfluh, the section manager for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s invasive species program, in a press release.

In 2022, the Watercraft Inspection Station Program inspected over 100,000 watercraft for quagga and zebra mussels, both of which can be extremely invasive. It did not find either type of mussel on boats or in Idaho waterways.

The state government also has programs in place to control noxious weeds and various species of invasive insects.

Surveyors recently discovered Turkish thistle along the Snake River in Hells Canyon — a noxious weed that had never before been discovered anywhere in North America, according to the Invasive Species of Idaho website.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has also recently detected invasive species in several locations across the state, including in Blue Heart Springs on the Snake River, the Bear Lake Wildlife Refuge, the Coeur d’Alene and Pend Oreille basins and the Bruneau River.

For more information on invasive species in Idaho, visit the Invasive Species of Idaho website.