Invasive quagga mussels cover a boat motor in this file photo.

Invasive quagga mussels cover a boat motor in this file photo.

Province, feds working to hold back mussel invasion

Cranbrook council hears about new initiative to stop invasive quagga and zebra mussels in their tracks

Back in late April, council decided to put its support behind a move to prevent invasive mussels from entering B.C.’s lakes and streams.

Council directed staff to send a letter to the federal government, reaffirming its support for a 2013 Union of B.C. Municipalities resolution on invasive mussels after receiving correspondence from the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

At the July 14 meeting, council received positive replies from the federal and provincial government.

“It basically says they are taking the problem very seriously,” Mayor Wayne Stetski said. “The federal government is developing a regulatory proposal to manage the threat.”

Under the proposal, Canada Border Service Agencies will have the ability to enforce prohibitions at the Canadian border, which means turning back boats that have the invasive quagga or zebra mussels on them.

The increased enforcement ability comes as a result of recent changes to the Fisheries Act which solidifies and makes explicit the authority to address the aquatic invasive species (AIS).

“In recognition of the serious threats posed by AIS to Canadian freshwater ecosystems, (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)’s AIS program focuses on activities at the national and regional levels,” Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans, wrote to council. “These activities include scientific research, risk assessment and monitoring, socio-economic analysis, outreach and regulatory development.”

Minister Shea referenced the role that the province plays.

In the letter from the province, Minister of Environment Mary Polak noted how serious a problem the mussels could be.

“A B.C. specific economic impact assessment of zebra and quagga mussel invasion determined these species would cost B.C. $28 million per annum as a conservative estimate,” Polak wrote. “Further, the establishment of these invasive mussels would also adversely impact the viability of important commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries within the province.”

Polak said the provincial zebra and quagga mussel Early Detection and Rapid Response Plan is currently in the draft stage and will be completed over the next several weeks. In the meantime, an interim prevention plan has been in place and implemented since the summer of 2013.

“While we have made significant accomplishments in putting policies, procedures and programs in place to protect B.C.’s waters from invasive mussels, there is still much work to be done,” Polak said. “The province will continue to work with federal, provincial and local partners to build support and collaborative approaches to ensure the threat of invasive mussels is addressed.”


Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read