Manitoba Expands Fight Against Zebra Mussels

Posted on June 23, 2014: Water Canada 

Manitoba has completed a number of important steps in the fight against an influx of zebra mussels on Lake Winnipeg, and are set to expand monitoring and containment efforts over the summer.

Manitoba challenges mussels in Lake Winnipeg
Manitoba challenges mussels in Lake Winnipeg

“We took the bold step to treat the four affected harbours this spring and those treatments went very well, but that was only the first step in the battle against zebra mussels,” said Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh. “Now it’s time for all lake users to join the fight and increase their vigilance to ensure we don’t give these intruders a certain foothold in Lake Winnipeg.”

The four affected locations—the Winnipeg Beach, Gimli, Arnes, and Balsam Bay harbours—were treated with liquid potash. Manitoba says that testing suggests no zebra mussels have survived.

In an effort to continue fighting the mussels, Manitoba Hydro purchased three portable decontamination units, which purge aquatic invasive species from boats entering the province. The high-pressure, high-heat units will be used to clean boats considered at risk to spread or introduce zebra mussels, which can cause significant impacts at generating stations.

Other mitigation efforts include expanded lake monitoring and sampling, watercraft inspection teams stationed at key locations, and creating public awareness.

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