Splash mob on Kal Lake

A colourful splash mob of 150 or so watercraft invaded Kalamalka Lake, off Kal beach in Coldstream, on Sunday – hoping to raise public awareness of the threat of quagga and zebra mussels.

People on wake boards, in canoes, on floaties and in a handful of power boats joined in a circle off the pier.

“If they were to arrive in our region, in British Columbia, they would have a devastating impact to our environment, to our economy. The Okanagan would change forever,” said Lisa Scott of the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society.

Both Scott and splash mob organizer Brynne Morrice agreed that the federal and provincial governments had “stepped up” efforts to fight a possible mussel invasion from eastern Canada and the U.S., but said there were gaps that needed to be filled to stop the arrival of the tiny destructive mollusks.

Out on the lake, the mob shouted “Keep Kal Lake blue” as a drone equipped with a camera flew overhead.

Morrice, a filmmaker, said the footage would be shared to send out the message of the dangers of the mussels that have taken over some eastern Canadian lakes, all the way to Manitoba.

“We are very worried that this lake and all other lakes in B.C. and rivers could become infested with zebra mussels and quagga mussels,” Morrice said, adding that the mussels multiply “by the trillions and basically fills a lake like a biblical plague.”

While only eight to ten motor boat operators took part, Morrice denied he was disappointed by that number, conceding however that the power boats and boat trailers were the biggest reason the mussels had made it into so many lakes in other parts of the country.

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