The Ft Peck Governor’s Cup Water Carnival is a family fun event that is held at the Ft Peck Interpretive Center hosted by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It coincides with the Governor’s Cup Walleye Fishing Tournament and offers land-dwellers everything from face painting to interactive games.
Casey attended the water carnival with a game called “Invaders Inspectors”. This scavenger hunt styled game allows for participants to search waders, life vests, and floaties for fake aquatic invasive species(AIS). Small stickers and plants were hidden in plain sight to demonstrate how tiny these hitch-hikers can be and their impressive camouflage skills. If the participants could successfully find all the hidden AIS, they could draw a prize.
An important message conveyed through this game is how AIS are not solely transported by watercraft. Anything that encounters an infested waterbody has the potential to spread it to another waterbody. The “fouled boat” activity shows just how quick that can happen.
Montana is a headwaters state, it is imperative that we keep AIS out of our waterbodies to prevent costly impacts on downstream water users. Inspecting, cleaning, draining, and drying your gear or watercraft is the new norm. As simple as hanging a life vest out to dry or removing any weeds that might be stuck on the boat trailer can prevent spreading those nasty little buggers!
Visit Protect Our Waters for more information on AIS and your role as a water user!