Recreationists are being reminded to clean, drain, and dry their equipment so an invasive mussel species does not turn up within BC lakes or waterways.
Gail Wallin with the Invasive Species Council of BC, says although zebra and quagga mussels have not been reported in the province, we certainly don’t want them and definitely not in the Cariboo region.
“They’re not here; they’re in eastern Canada and in southwest State and we’re trying to keep them out,” she says.
“They’re really prolific and they’ll grow and attach themselves to boat motors, intake pipes, irrigation systems and basically clog it. Right now there is no treatment to remove them and they’ll change our lake systems which are important for our salmon and fish.”
A 2013 study estimated that the cost of an invasive mussel infestation in B.C could be as much as $28.2 million per year.
Zebra and quagga mussels can survive for several weeks without being immersed in water and can be easily transferred to one body of water to another.
The species which was introduced into North America in the 1980s were discovered in Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba in October 2013.