Tue, 12 Feb 2019

Keeping watch for invasive mussels

Nerissa Abbott, a CKISS Invasive Species technician using a plankton net at Gyro Park in Trail to collect samples that get sent to a lab for testing. The lab will test for free-swimming microscopic mussel larvae, called veligers.

Vigilance is the price of keeping our waters free of invasive mussels. According to the 2018 interim report on the Provincial Mussel Defence Program, of the 38,000 watercraft inspected during the 2018 operating season 25 boats were confirmed to have highly invasive zebra and/or quagga mussels. Luckily these mussel-fouled boats were stopped, as they were destined for waters all over BC!

To date, BC is still free of invasive mussels, and many groups such as The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) are working hard to keep it that way. The CKISS and other HCTF-funded organisations are monitoring for the mussels across the province. From June through October 2018, the CKISS collected 350 samples at 34 sites within nine different high priority waterbodies. To date, the province has analyzed 812 samples from across B.C. and all have come back negative for invasive mussels.

Keep up the good work monitors!