Invasive mussels present a threat to Okanagan lakes, two organizations say (file)

Invasive mussels present a threat to Okanagan lakes, two organizations say (file)

More funding needed to combat invasive mussels in the Okanagan

An open letter was sent to the minister of fisheries demanding the government do more

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) have a sent open letter to minister of fisheries Bernadette Jordan, calling for more preventative measures from the federal government to combat the threat of invasive mussel species in regional bodies of water.

While $400,000 in funding was already announced by the federal government last August to combat the issue, the letter said that more funding is needed to expand existing monitoring and inspection programs.

READ MORE: Okanagan dock owners urged to monitor for invasive mussels

OBWB board chair Sue McKortoff said the letter is meant to raise more awareness about the issue.

“Every year we experience invasive mussel-infested watercraft arriving at our borders – heading to the Okanagan, the Shuswap, and other B.C. locations,” said McKortoff.

“Every year, our water is put at risk – for drinking, for fish and other wildlife.”

If Zebra and Quagga mussels were to infest waters, the boards estimate that it would cost around $42 million annually to address the issue in the Okanagan Valley alone.

The Shuswap and Okanagan lakes are also at risk from infestation because of its warm water temperature and high calcium content, which are conditions the letter said would help to keep the mussels alive.

SWC chair Paul Demenok said it’s time to act now on the issue before it’s too late.

“The cost of effective prevention is so much smaller than what it costs to manage the mussels once they arrive,” said Demenok.

“We still have the opportunity to keep them out, but we need stronger support from the federal government on this issue.”

This isn’t the only invasive species the OBWB is trying to address in the region.

Earlier this month, The OBWB entered into a five-year agreement with the provincial government to clarify where they could rototill for invasive millfoil around Okanagan lakes.

To read the full letter, you can visit SWC’s website.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Theodore, Alvin and Simon were found abandoned by a community mailbox, the Vernon BC SPCA said March 1. Now, they’re looking for their forever home. (Facebook)
3 guinea pigs found abandoned near Vernon mailbox

Alvin and the pigs are up for adoption through Vernon’s BC SPCA

<ins>North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society sponsored the last hockey game played at the Vernon Civic Arena, Jan. 6, 2018, 80 years to the day the facility opened. The BCHL game was between the Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings. </ins>The Vipers have made NOYFSS its charity of choice in a new league initiative powered by Shaw Communications. (NOYFSS photo)
Vernon Vipers, BCHL help out local charities

New initiative by Shaw Communications will benefit North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society

Flowers peeking through the snow in Revelstoke last spring, while COVID-19 began to surge across the world. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review file)
Get Outdoors! And celebrate spring

Seasons are changing and outdoor enthusiasts are ready to soak it in

Jason Haskett and Rachel Williams celebrated one year off the streets in July 2020 thanks to finding a home at My Place in Vernon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Supportive housing gives former homeless Vernon couple hope

‘This building has helped us become stable and without it we’d probably still be out in the streets’

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Theodore, Alvin and Simon were found abandoned by a community mailbox, the Vernon BC SPCA said March 1. Now, they're looking for their forever home. (Facebook)
3 guinea pigs found abandoned near Vernon mailbox

Alvin and the pigs are up for adoption through Vernon’s BC SPCA

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

Gary Leck, Facebook
Snow smashes through bedroom wall at Big White

Heavy snow fell from a roof on Monday afternoon crashing through a home

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

Most Read