Invasive mussels (The Canadian Press)

COVID-19 restrictions may aid B.C.’s ongoing battle against invasive mussels

Dave Bennett, chairman of the Invasive Species Council of BC, says users of all types of watercraft must be extra vigilant

Travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic might help British Columbia defend against invasive mussels, but the province is taking no chances as it works to keep the creatures out of B.C. waterways.

A statement from the Environment Ministry says boat inspection stations are opening across B.C. to check for zebra and quagga mussels.

The invaders or their larvae can be carried on improperly cleaned, drained and dried watercraft coming from mussel-fouled waters outside the province.

Inspection stations are to operate until October, and while most provincial boat launches are now open, the statement says the ongoing pandemic means now is not the time for non-essential travel.

It says those travel restrictions are expected to lower the risk for arrival of invasive mussels, which reproduce so prolifically that they overwhelm beaches or infrastructure such as water intakes or docks.

The ministry says that of 52,000 inspections last year, 22 mussel-fouled boats were stopped from entering local waters and, so far, no mussel infestations have been reported in B.C.

Dave Bennett, chairman of the Invasive Species Council of BC, says users of all types of watercraft must be extra vigilant.

“Whether you are a paddler, boater or a fisher, let’s continue to work together and make sure all of our equipment and vehicles are clean, drained and dry before going to a new waterbody,” he says in the statement.

Anyone transporting watercraft — including sailboats, motorboats, car toppers, kayaks, canoes or paddle boats — must stop at an open inspection station or risk a $345 fine.

Last year, 116 violation tickets were issued to motorists failing to stop at inspection stations, the ministry says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusFisheries and Oceans Canada

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

Just Posted

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Crews repair damaged lakefront walkway in Summerland

Flooding in 2017 and 2018 took toll on popular walking path

COVID-19 ‘not a death sentence’ says Penticton woman after seeing senior mother recover

Cancer, blindness, a fractured hip, dementia, and COVID-19 not enough to bring Betty Jukes down

After living with horrible pain for nearly a year, Coalmont woman anticipates surgery

A Coalmont woman is waiting anxiously for the phone to ring. Nienke… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read