Guard against zebra mussels entering Saskatchewan water bodies
Article by: Sheila Harlos
Zebra mussels like areas that are moist. Here, they cling to a motor.
SaskPower is concerned about the risk of zebra mussels being introduced into provincial water bodies. This concern became even more pronounced when the invasive species was found attached to a Saskatchewan boat recently purchased in the USA.
Zebra mussels are small freshwater molluscs that can spread rapidly once introduced into a lake or river — they lay up to one million eggs in a year. They grow so rapidly, zebra mussels have the potential to damage cooling systems in boat motors.They can also clog the intake pipes used to supply water to cottages, cities and to SaskPower’s power generating plants. Zebra mussels could also do serious damage to lakes and river ecosystems, impacting native clams and disrupting commercial and recreational fisheries.
Here’s what you can do to prevent the spread of zebra mussels:
• Inspect your boat, trailer or other recreational equipment carefully for mussels and aquatic vegetation after each use;
• Drain all water from your boat, including bilge, live well and the engine cooling system;
• Dry your boat and trailer in the sun for at least two days. If using the boat sooner, wash it and all associated equipment with hot soapy water.
Saskatchewan residents who purchaseboats, motors, trailers or other watercraft from out of province — as well as residents who take their boats out-of-province — should carefully inspect and wash their watercraft and all associated equipment prior to use in Saskatchewan.
The zebra mussel could be a costly invader to the province of Saskatchewan, but we can each do our part to prevent its spread. By working together, we can help to maintain the health of our provincial waterways and do our best to keep Saskatchewan zebra mussel-free.