News

Officials prepare for mussel attack

There is a concern that quagga mussels will spread into lakes in the Okanagan Valley. - Photo submitted
There is a concern that quagga mussels will spread into lakes in the Okanagan Valley.
— image credit: Photo submitted

There are growing concerns that the Okanagan’s ecosystem could eventually be threatened by alien invaders.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board is spending considerable time investigating how to prevent the zebra and quagga mussels from showing up in local lakes.

“We don’t want to be alarmist but it’s not something we can ignore,” said director Juliette Cunningham.

“People are saying, ‘It’s not if it happens, it’s when it happens.”

Both mussels are native to eastern Europe and they have spread across North America since the 1980s.

These mussels clog water intake pipes, pumps and boat motors. They also deplete food sources for fish and produce toxins that kill fish and birds and contaminate drinking water.

“The mussels can decompose bridges,” said Cunningham, adding that the financial impact on infrastructure and tourism can be substantial.

“The damage they do to recreation is huge. They’re like razor blades when they wash up on the beach.”

OBWB wants to make sure the mussels aren’t introduced to local lakes on boats coming from outside of the Okanagan.

“We want to be proactive about public education,” said Cunningham.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will write to the federal government and demand action to address the spread of the zebra and quagga mussels.

GVAC is also supporting a $10,000 application from the Okanagan Invasive Species Society to OBWB for invasive  mussel prevention.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Paralympians honoured
 
Stylist shares the love for charity
 
TIMELINE: An interactive history of terrorist attacks and plots in Canada
Kelowna: Airport reports given overdose of false drama
 
Labour consumes most new tax dollars cities collect
 
VIDEO: Procession honouring Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in hometown of Hamilton, Ontario
Summerland bus service rolling along nicely
 
Sinixt woman resigns over Slocan Pool burial
 
Preliminary inquiry set for alleged Kootenay bank robbers

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.