Inspectors stop 10 boats tainted with invasive mussels from entering B.C.

Mussel-fouled boats stopped

At least 10 watercraft tainted with adult invasive mussels have been prevented from entering B.C. this boating season. 

Chris Doyle of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said Thursday half of those boats were headed for the Okanagan, while another was en route to the Thompson region. 

As of July 23, more than 12,800 inspections have been completed at invasive mussel check points in B.C. Of the ten tainted boats intercepted, six were from Ontario, one from Manitoba with the remainder from the United States. 

The provincial government has been working to keep the invasive zebra and quagga mussels out of B.C. Nine inspection stations, some featuring sniffer dogs, check boats at busy provincial points of entry.

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

A study carried out by the Okanagan Basin Water Board in 2013 indicated an infestation could cost the Okanagan at least $42 million just to manage. The mussels would drastically alter the water parameters of the the lake, displace native species and clog water intakes. 

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