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Regular testing for invasives done at Sicamous dock

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society took latest sample June 4
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society field technician Marlee Verleih tests for invasive mussels at the Finlayson Street Boat Launch on June 4, with Shuswap and Mara Lakes monitored regularly.

Sicamous council has long been lobbying for improved measures against invasive mussels, and the Columubia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is actively monitoring the situation. 

In a June 4 post to its website, the district said CSISS had taken the latest water samples at the Finlayson Boat Launch to test for any evidence of the destructive zebra or quagga mussels. The samples are then sent to provincial labs for testing, with the government setting the frequency of testing of water bodies.

There are currently five sites on Shuswap Lake that are tested bi-weekly, and two on Mara Lake that are checked monthly. In its 2023 annual report, CSISS reported 25 sampling locations on 15 water bodies they monitor within the region, with 137 samples collected last year that revealed zero detections of invasives. 

In addition to mandatory on-site testing, the province also has watercraft inspection stations along major travel routes, and is advocating the Clean, Drain, Dry campaign to help prevent the spread. 

"Invasive mussels are a threat to the quality of our drinking water, our infrastructure and the health of our freshwater systems," the district said in its post. "These aquatic invasive species cause hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damage annually in North America."

For the last few years, Sicamous council has submitted resolutions on invasive mussels to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, and have had them endorsed the last two years and in 2021. On May 17, the province passed new Pull the Plug legislation that requires boat operators to completely drain watercraft before transporting them between water bodies. 

Additional information on invasives and prevention can be found on the CSISS website at

About the Author: Heather Black

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