Invasive species council gets funding for mussel testing

East Kootenay Invasive Species Council to sample over 10 regional lakes for Zebra and Quagga mussels

Grant funding has come in for a regional conservation organization dedicated to mitigating invasive species across the East Kootenay.

The East Kootenay Invasive Species Council will be sampling more than 10 lakes in the region for the presence of Zebra and Quagga mussels, thanks to $17,305 in funding from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Lakes included in the project are Tie, Windermere, Koocanusa, Premier, Wasa, Whitetail, Whiteswan, Columbia, Moyie, St Mary, Surveyor’s and Lillian.

Zebra and Quagga mussels were introduced to eastern parts of North America in the 1980s, and have steadily moved west into Manitoba and Montana in the United States. The mussels are a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems, impacting native plants and wildlife, degrade water quality and clog piping for hydro power facilities and municipal infrastructure, according to the provincial government.

“Recreationists have a huge responsibility on their shoulders,” said Jessie Paloposki, Education and Communications Manager for the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC). “To continue enjoying the rivers and lakes as we do, we have to ensure we’re not cross-contaminating the water as we move from one lake or river to another. Mussel larvae is microscopic, so the only way we can confirm they’re not hitch-hiking on our gear or watercraft is to ensure that we clean, drain, and dry this equipment before moving to another waterbody.”

For the project, the EKISPC will carry out plankton tow sampling by using the British Columbia Dreissenid Mussel Lake Monitoring Field Protocol.

The samples are sent to a designated lab by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to check for the presence of veligers, the microscopic free-swimming stage of the mussels’ larva. Sampling is done by using a cone-shaped fine-mesh net. Sampling is usually done between May and October around boat launches, marinas and docks, as the invaders can spread through water-based recreation activities.

This grant was one of 12 awarded by the Habitat Conservation trust Foundation for invasive mussel early detection monitoring in 2019 after a thorough technical evaluation. The grants are part of a record $9 million in funding for 170 conservation projects announced by the Foundation earlier this year.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Aquatic centre to remain closed for the next month

City staff say the closure is due to ongoing roof construction at Western Financial Place

Regional chambers meet with provincial government staff

Regional representatives with Kootenay chambers of commerce recently met with the provincial… Continue reading

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

Registration open now for Kootenay Up and Down disc golf tournament

PDGA sanctioned, B-tier tournament takes place Oct. 5-6 at Wycliffe and Cranbrook courses

Skymount partners with College, creates course preparing students for growing drone industry

Cranbrook’s College of the Rockies (COTR) recently unveiled an intriguing new program… Continue reading

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read