Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

La British Columbia remains spared from invasive mussels

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British Columbia's lakes are not contaminated by invasive mussels, present in the east of the country. (Archive photo)

  • Camille Vernet (View profile)Camille Vernet

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Lakes in British Columbia are not contaminated by zebra and quagga mussels, says the non-profit Invasive Species Council of British Columbia.

Each year, 800 samples are taken from nearly 80 lakes. Analyzes confirm that in 2023 the province's waterways are free of these invasive mussels.

That's good news, because if invasive mussels were detected here, British Columbia and Canada don't have the tools to deal with them, says Gail Wallin, director of the Invasive Species Council. British Columbia.

Present in many lakes in the United States and in the east of the country, they remain a threat to the lakes of the province .

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Zebra mussels are present in many lakes on the eastern continent.

Fresh waters are essential in British Columbia, for drinking water, recreation, quality of life and salmon. It is imperative for our communities that non-native zebra and quagga mussels are not introduced, as this could alter our ecosystems, she points out.

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Once these mussels enter a waterway, it is virtually impossible to remove them. They reproduce very quickly, which can lead to massive numbers of mussels, she notes.

Zebra mussels negatively impact aquatic ecosystems because they filter water intensively, reducing the availability of essential nutrients for other species.

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Washing boats carefully helps protect the province's waterways .

They also form dense colonies that disrupt natural habitats, as well as water pipes, boat hulls, and x27;other infrastructure, she explains.

In order to limit the presence of zebra mussels, they remind boaters to follow the regulations and properly clean their boat before visiting another watercourse.< /p>

The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society, a non-profit organization based in the Okanagan region, confirms that sampling of lakes in the region shows no contamination, while the presence of invasive mussels has was detected in an Idaho lake last year.

According to the company, this location is approximately 11 hours from the British Columbia border, warranting continued sampling and monitoring of the province's lakes and rivers.

With information from the Canadian Press

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