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

YOU didn’t back check …

Pro hockey player Connor Jones’ inspiring stories on life, hockey and everything in between.

Haitian foster children arrive in Nelson after months-long lobbying effort

Marie-Paule Brisson and Sebastien De Marre have parented girls age 12 and 8 since they were babies

B.C. doc breaks down the incognito mosquito

Dr. Carol Fenton is a Medical Health Officer for Interior Health

Work remains to be done in B.C. care homes

BCSLA represents private operators of Independent and Assisted Living, and Long Term Care residences

Police investigating car accident on Rossland Hill

Captain Grant Tyson says the rollover resulted in minor injuries to three people

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

Most Read