Invasive mussels found on Sylvan Lake-bound boat

A close call along the shores of Sylvan Lake saw a mussel-infested boat barred from entering the water over the May long weekend.

A close call along the shores of Sylvan Lake saw a mussel-infested boat barred from entering the water over the May long weekend.

The boat was intercepted during a mandatory inspection at the Sunbreaker Cove boat launch, just as the trained inspectors manning the site were getting ready to end their shift.

“They determined through the protocols that we train them in that the boat was high risk, and so they did a high risk inspection — a very detailed inspection — and they discovered mussels on the watercraft,” said Cindy Sawchuk, a strategic advisor with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

The incident proved both the effectiveness of the province’s mandatory boat inspections and the reality of the threat posed by invasive species, Sawchuk added. Invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels have no known control measure, and their presence can cause irreparable harm to aquatic systems and vital underwater infrastructure.

For that reason, prevention is key.

“Clean, drain, dry — that’s the message that we want to get across,” said Sawchuk. “ We can inspect boats, but it’s really up to the boaters, because if they start to clean, drain and dry their boat every time they leave a water body, and boaters in Alberta start to change their behaviour, we’re effectively eliminating the risk of transporting any of these species.”

The mussels found on the Sylvan Lake-bound boat were believed to have originated in Ontario, where the boat was purchased from. The boat’s owner, Sawchuk said, was “very co-operative and extremely compliant.”

“His exact words to me were, ‘I don’t want to be responsible for spreading the plague into Alberta waters,’ and so they were quite mortified,” said Sawchuk. “If mussels do get introduced … it would be very bad.”

The province last week said the boat would be decontaminated free of charge by specially trained transport officers.


Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Pirates force Whitecourt Wild to walk the plank

The Pirates have played their way to back-to-back wins to sit seventh in regular season standings.

Sylvan Lake students prepare for opening night of ‘Almost, Maine”

Students and staff from H.J. Cody have been hard at work since September to bring Almost to life

WATCH: Sylvan Lake’s Daddy/Daughter Dance

The event was put on by SPARC Parent’s Association on Nov. 17

West Central Midget Tigers pounce on Airdrie

The Tigers’ regular season record is 10-1-2 after two wins this weekend

Big Bear Energy makes a big donation to Sylvan Lake Christmas Bureau

Big Bear Energy recently gave a donation to help families in need this holiday season

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Most Read