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

Camo-clad man carrying guns arrested in Chilliwack

Turns out the guns were trigger locked and the man was subsequently released by RCMP

Board chair says Chilliwack trustee’s censure results from ‘egregious’ breach of ethics

Four forms of reprimand for Barry Neufeld after his Facebook post about Dr. Theresa tam

Volunteers and donors behind Chilliwack’s boots and backpacks programs awarded

Principals and vice-principals chose Murray Honda, Staples and Canadian Tire for provincial award

Chilliwack RCMP support Special Olympics athletes

This year’s torch run aiming to raise $30,000 for B.C.’s athletes

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Aldergrove drive-in theatre to reopen 50-vehicle capacity, gets green light on concession

100 cars of people will watch films in two showings per night, adhering to provincial health limits

New oversight for COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Fraser Health is also sending in a germ-killing machine to fight the virus

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Police stop Lower Mainland men with parachutes from jumping off Okanagan bridge

The men had parachutes in their backpacks, and indicated they were going to jump off a bridge

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

$24M lottery ticket bought in Aldergrove by soon-to-be millionaire

Wednesday night’s Lotto 6/49 draw revealed a ticket worth millions was purchased in Aldergrove

Most Read