As we all start thinking about putting our boats in the water, we need to take a moment to consider if our vessel may be at risk of introducing Quagga or Zebra mussels into Shuswap, Mara or Little Shuswap Lakes. While the risk is low, it only take one boat to bring these invasive species into our lakes, potentially ruining them for the future.
Last year, the BC Conservation service, inspected 35,500 boats entering BC some 2071 of which were considered high-risk inspections and found 25 mussel fouled boats. These inspection stations are already manned for the 2018 season and you will be required to report at the various inspection stations as you transport your boat to the interior of BC.
The following information was taken from the BC Government invasive species website:
Bringing Your Boat to B.C.
If you’re bringing your boat from out-of-province, contact the Provincial Program at COS.Aquatic.Invasive.Species@gov.bc.ca to determine if your boat is HIGH-RISK and should be decontaminated for possible zebra or quagga mussel presence before accessing BC’s lakes and rivers. It’s free! Do not launch the boat into any B.C. waters until you have received instruction from a B.C. Provincial Aquatic Invasive Species Inspector.
Our inspection stations will be stopping and conducting inspections on all boats entering the province. In order to streamline the process and minimize the impact to your travel time, we are requesting a notification of all watercraft that are being transported into B.C.
The information we require is:
⦁ Where the boat is coming from
⦁ Destination location
⦁ Contact information (either owner, hauler/driver or destination location)
⦁ Type of boat
Watercraft decontaminations are free and Provincial inspectors have mobile capacity to inspect watercraft upon arrival to ensure they are clean before launching in B.C. waters. Advanced notification will help streamline this process.
If you are transporting a watercraft in B.C. it is a mandatory requirement that you stop and report to all invasive mussel inspection stations along your travel route.
Transporting live or dead Zebra/Quagga mussels into B.C. is a federal and provincial offence and those in possession of the infested watercraft will be liable.
Help us keep B.C. waterways clear of Zebra and Quagga mussels. Report suspected contaminated boats carrying invasive mussels that may be travelling from out-of-Province to the RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).
Low Risk Watercraft
⦁ Watercraft that have only been used within British Columbia or other non-contaminated provinces or states within the last 30 days, zebra and quagga mussels are not established in British Columbia, ( see the US Geological Survey map for current North American distribution)
⦁ To prevent the spread of other AIS within B.C. we strongly recommend that boaters follow the Clean Drain and Dry program
High Risk Watercraft
⦁ Any vessel or piece of equipment that has been in any province/ state known or suspected of having zebra or quagga mussels (see the US Geological Survey map for current North American distribution) in the past 30 days, or
⦁ Any watercraft or equipment that is coming from a state / province that has quagga or zebra mussel infestations ( see the US Geological Survey map for current North American distribution) and is not clean, and to the extent practical, drained and dry
Let’s keep our lake free of these invasive mussels and look forward to good boating wherever your travels are taking you.