Lacombe County wants to keep lakes free of invasive species

Lacombe County wants to keep its lakes free of invasive species such as the zebra mussel.

Lacombe County wants to keep its lakes free of invasive species such as the zebra mussel.

The county is asking people to help keep its lakes free of aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels, eurasion watermilfoil and quagga mussels. Though these species are not yet in Alberta lakes, the county said if one were introduced it could cause severe damage.

These species can live for 30 days out of the water and reproduce as much as one million eggs every year, making them very difficult to eradicate.

To prevent the spread, people are asked to clean and inspect watercraft, trailers and gear; remove all plants, animals and mud at the access area or dock; soak gear in two per cent bleach for one minute and rinse, scrub or pressure wash your boat away from storm drains, ditches or waterways.

People should also drain all water from bait buckets, ballasts, bilges, coolers, internal compartments, livewells and transom motors on land before leaving a body of water, and never release live bait into a water body or transfer aquatic plants or animals.

The last important step is to dry watercraft and gear completely and to leave compartments open and sponge out standing water.

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