• Kelowna's Homepage
  • Vernon's Homepage


Zebra mussel sniffing dogs?

You have heard of bird dogs, but what about mussel mutts?

The Alberta government has teamed up with Montana to pay for specially trained dogs that can sniff out zebra and quagga mussels attached to boats.

These mussels have caused damage to water treatment infrastructure and aquatic ecosystems in other areas.

The hope is that the dogs will detect the mussels on boats being hauled on trailers at highway checkpoints and prevent them from spreading into Alberta waters.

The five dogs were trained in the U.S. and will be working for ten-day stretches on each side of the border.

Alberta Environment Minister Robin Campbell says prevention is the key because the mussels are almost impossible to get rid of once they get established.

“Zebra and quagga mussels pose a huge ecological and financial threat to Alberta, so we wanted to take advantage of every opportunity to stop their spread," Campbell said Wednesday.

Quagga and zebra mussels move from lake to lake by attaching themselves to boats and other recreational equipment.

Quagga mussels are found in various parts of North America, such as in the Colorado River system in the U.S., a popular destination for Alberta boaters.

Zebra mussels were discovered in Lake Winnipeg in October 2013.


Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.

More Canada News

Parliament Hill Webcam
Recent Trending
Member of the RTNDA