BC invasive mussels announcement
B.C. reports invasive mussels on 17 watercraft inspected this past boating season
Vancouver Sun, published: November 10, 2016; Larry Pynn, Vancouver BC
The B.C. government announced Thursday it discovered invasive mussels on 17 watercraft inspected this past boating season.
That number represents well under one per cent of the 24,500 watercraft inspected for both zebra and quagga mussels, including 683 craft identified as coming from high-risk provinces and states. Even one infected craft can create havoc if invasive mussels are introduced into a body of water in B.C. So far, neither of the species are known to have gained a foothold in the province.
Of the 17 carrying adult invasive mussels, 14 originated in Ontario, with the others from Manitoba, Michigan and Nevada.
Crews issued 92 decontamination orders, as well as 46 tickets and 36 warnings to motorists who failed to stop at the watercraft inspection station as required by B.C. law. The province has situated eight inspection stations at major entry points along B.C.’s Alberta and U.S. borders, with 32 trained officers inspecting and, if needed, decontaminating watercraft.
Other contributors to the inspection program include B.C. Hydro, FortisBC, Columbia Power and the Columbia Basin Trust.
Invasive mussels are a threat to native species in lakes and rivers. They can clog water intake pipes, leading to increased maintenance costs for hydroelectric, domestic water, industrial, agricultural and recreational facilities.