Waters Edge Marina at Sylvan Lake.

Invasive species kept out of local lakes

Boating season got off to a worrying start in May when zebra mussels were discovered on a boat at Sylvan Lake Sunbreaker’s Cove. Though it appears that is as close as Central Alberta came to seeing the unwanted invasive species introduced into area lakes.

Boating season got off to a worrying start in May when zebra mussels were discovered on a boat at Sylvan Lake Sunbreaker’s Cove.

Though it appears that is as close as Central Alberta came to seeing the unwanted invasive species introduced into area lakes.

Alberta Environment and Parks spokesperson Charity Wallace said zebra or quagga mussels — a similar threat— were found on 10 boats so far this season. But all were caught at four border crossings into the province where mandatory inspections have been in place.

“In Central Alberta, specifically, it’s just been the one find,” said Wallace. “We’ve been catching them before they get any further in.”

Roving inspection teams have been holding regular information sessions and checks at provincial boat launches all summer and have not found any problems. Roving crews have been targeting Sylvan, Gull, Buffalo, Buck, Pine and Pigeon Lakes.

It’s a reassuring sign that the province’s stepped-up vigilance for invasive species seems to be working.

“Every step we take is a positive step and we haven’t found any in the waters yet.

“There’s always the threat of something coming in. We do the best we can at the inspection stations before they get in close to a lake.”

Besides boat inspections, the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency and Alberta Agriculture have been testing water bodies for mussels and a plant invasive species known as Eurasian watermilfoil.

So far, they have all been coming up clean.

Quagga and zebra mussels move from lake to lake by attaching themselves to boats and other recreational equipment. Quagga mussels found in the Colorado River system in the U.S. are of particular concern because it is a popular destination for Alberta snowbirds. Zebra mussels were discovered in Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba in October 2013. The mussels have been a huge problem in the Great Lakes where they have clogged up water intake pipes and done millions of dollars in damage.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Liberals table proposal for expanded Commons COVID-19 meetings, summer sittings

OTTAWA — The Liberals have tabled a proposal that would see expanded… Continue reading

Most Read