Teams target mussel infestations

The Ministry of Environment says new invasive mussel defence teams have made great strides

The Ministry of Environment says new invasive mussel defence teams have made great  strides searching for tiny molluscs on watercraft.

Since May, the teams have inspected more than 3,200 boats in 19 communities and 26 boats were decontaminated. Four boats required a 30-day quarantine period, in addition to the decontamination, to ensure lakes remain protected  from invasive mussels.

“Our co-ordinated and ongoing efforts are making a real difference  keeping invasive mussels out of B.C.,” said Mary Polak, environment minister.

The program was created by $1.3 million in provincial and B.C. Hydro funding and $360,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust.

Keeping B.C.’s waterways invasive mussel-free is a joint effort by neighbouring states and provinces, and the Canadian Border Services  Agency.

B.C.’s invasive mussel defence program includes six mobile decontamination units and 12 trained auxiliary  conservation officers who perform roadside watercraft inspections and decontaminations.

The public is encouraged to report mussel-affected boats/equipment to 1-877-952-7277.